This book is for your welfare. At least, the author believes so. It tries to give you some suggestions about what you should do for your future. Your consciousness is a wonder of the world. If all people in the world died today, and you would live alone starting tomorrow, the whole universe would still be meaningful because of your very existence. All materials would still have to be there, following natural laws that you could sense and utilize. The pace of the universe could not go faster or slower than the way your sense is familiar with. However, this wonder can’t last. It is common sense that it could not last in the present form of forever. Also disheartening is the idea that what will happen to you is a mystery while you are in your present status.
You know that your power and ability are confined by the physical laws. When you are sick, the only thing you can do is suffer the pain and rely on medical treatments and your immunity to recover. You have no magical power to heal yourself. You can’t curve a spoon or see through a piece of paper by concentrating your attention on it, although some people claim they can. When you meet someone, you have no sixth sense that allows you to know what he or she is thinking and what he or she does when you are not looking. When you hear a story of a supernatural experience, you wonder why none of this sort of thing has happened to you so you might have proof about the existence of something beyond this world. Not only your capabilities are limited, but also the time of your existence is limited. If the answer to what will happen to you after your life is important, it is not a good strategy to find it on your own.
There are many religions in the world you live in and each of them attracts millions to billions of people. They claim to have the ability to solve the problems of human beings, to give the answers of the meaning of life, to tell you the truth about the world after death, and so on. They are everywhere. Many buildings house their activities in every city. The ceremonies of our society, such as marriages and burials, are influenced by them. Many people devote their lifetimes to religions; religious services are their jobs. It is not hard to find a way to join a religion and to learn from it. The following are what we may hope to find in a religion we choose.
We hope that we can find a number of real things. Only real money can be used for purchasing commodities. Only a machine that is well-designed and in good condition works. Only knowledge based on true things and valid arguments helps. We must find a real religion that will give us what it has promised. Even if we don’t have the ability to know for sure which religion is the real one, we must try our best to collect enough information to guess which has the greatest possibility to be real. It can’t be true that all religions are real, because they contradict each other on many points. In fact, they all can be wrong. We can’t deny that it’s a possible situation.
As children, we always expect our parents to treat all children fairly. As students, we always expect our teacher to treat all the students in the class fairly. As employees, we always expect our boss to treat all company employees fairly. In the same way, if there is some kind of existence that will decide our fate, we also hope that he (a temporary pronoun) is impartial to everyone.
We also should expect that this system or being is good. People care about moral values in this world. We like good behavior and dislike bad behavior. That superior existence should be good, if he exists. We even hope that he is perfect. Otherwise we don’t have to respect or trust him. In that case, we need to prepare to face an afterworld where life is worse than it is here. We will have no hope.
In the next several chapters we will discuss one of the foremost beliefs of human beings, Christianity. Please check it out because it will improve your chance of getting better results for your afterlife. These discussions also will give us a common ground for religious debating, the main theme of this book.