KV wrote
Ellis: The part of AFTERLIFE which works is that it gives men hope and something to live for. It kind of gives meaning to life, which otherswise would be pointless. There are other real meanings to life, such as quest for knowledge and happiness, and that is what religions should really offer instead of some fake belief in heavens that dont exist. If religions preached "Live and let Live" or like you said "Treat other like they treat you" then this world would be a MUCH better place. That is what a real religion should be doing in order to bring peace to this world.

Life is not meaningless because there is no belief in an afterlife. In fact life seems to have more meaning if it is acknowledged that this is absolutely all there is ever going to be. We live on, if that is what we wish, in the memory of our family and friends- and if we are lucky enough to have children, in the lives of our descendants. The 'do as you would be done by' thing is at the original core of most religions, as well as the core thinking of any reasonable human. My point is that there is no need to ginger it up with silly rules, supposedly divinely inspired, but in reality supporting the idea of unchanging regulation. Religions always stifle change, even progressive change, and it is ironical to realise that the ideas of the founders of many of the successful religions were in fact revolutionary in their day.

Rose: Whilst I think that Buddhism has some attractive beliefs I have some difficulty with the idea of reincarnation and successive lives. One reason is that I think it is, well, actually really silly, and secondly, because I loath the idea of disease and misfortune being the result of personal sin -instead of a chance meeting with, for eg, a virus, or a speeding car. I especially hate the idea of the parents' sins being taken as the reason for children's illnesses and unexpected deaths. It's a horrible suggestion. I understand Buddhism is not alone in this doctrine.