Up@dawn 2.0

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Secular Afterlife

Whether knowingly or unknowingly, I feel that most of us live to be remembered. Not necessarily by fame, but we all want to have lasting influences on the world and people around us. In this way, to some extent we all care about the secular afterlife – the life that continues on earth once we die.
We strive to have some sort of impact on the world. Whether that be a positive force, a force of change, or even a negative force. Humans have created entire social, economic and political structures to ensure that those who come after us will live comfortably. Parents spend their entire adult lives providing for their children to ensure a promising future for them. Humans in civilized countries have a pre-set life plan that was laid out by prior generations (i.e. educational, work and family plans). There are activist groups that fight for changes that may never come in their lifetimes. Humans are meaning-making, pattern-seeking, story-telling creatures (to quote Robert Pondillo) – we need to feel that what we do in our lives will be remembered and appreciated in the future.

I care a lot about the secular afterlife, for both personal reasons and reasons that pertain to humanity as a whole. I make music so that those in my lifetime and after my lifetime can connect with it and enjoy it. It’s my own stamp on time. I care about environmental and political issues because I understand that the choices that I make now will affect future generations. It’s hard to say whether I care more about the secular afterlife than I do about living eternally in heaven. Secular life is all I’ve ever known, and heaven is a more abstract thought. So for now, I’m content to work towards a better life on earth for myself and those who come after me.  


  1. Isn't working for the benefit of future generations an interesting concept? The only generations we understand the nature of have already passed, and all our longterm efforts go to benefit people we have never met.

  2. We all want to be remembered, it's only natural. Creating something that you can leave behind is one of the best ways to do that H3

  3. Regarding immortality and the secular afterlife, I do not believe that it is fair to apply the concept that humans inherently wish to leave a lasting impression on their world. My goals for an academic career are aspirational, however, it isn't so that I can leave something behind when I eventually pass away.