(b) Explain how belief in life after death might influence the way religious people live their lives?
The belief in life after death will encourage religious people to examine the way they live their lives because they know that they will be examined by God once they die.
Hindus will be motivated in performing good actions, in order to achieve good karma, so that they can break way from the cycle of moksha and be re-united with God. It is taught in the Bhagavad Gita that yoga and regular praying can achieve good karma. Therefore, many Hindus will include yoga and praying as part of their daily routine, and the practice of yoga may change the way they live their lives because they will have greater control over their mind.
Christians will be influenced in living their lives differently because they know that everything that they do will be judged at Judgement Day, and this will decide whether they will go to Heaven or Hell. Therefore, not only will Christians try and lead good lives in order to be accepted into Heaven, such as by giving money to the poor, but they will also avoid committing bad actions, like theft, because of fear of going to Hell. Furthermore, the belief in life after death means that Christians have hope that their life will have a purpose, ‘those who have died before Christ’s return will be raised to life’ (Corinthians 15v42). Consequently, Christians will live their lives in a calmer and more controlled way, since they know that death is not the end of their life.
(c) “There are too many problems in this life to worry about what happens after death.” Do you agree? Give reasons for your answer, showing that you have thought about more than one point of view. Refer to religious arguments in your answer.
Serious problems are existent all over the world in present day, such as war and poverty. It would be difficult for someone in poverty to worry about what happens after their death when their main concern is that they are able to cope with their current life. This means that, for example, a poor man would find it acceptable to steal a fruit, even if he may be punished in his future life. Furthermore, some Hindus may believe that they need to focus on their current life, since this is the life that they would probably have been worrying about in their previous life. It may also be argued by both Hinduism and Christianity that trying to perform good actions in order to gain a good future life or go to Heaven is an act of selfishness, since we are only concerned about ourselves and not of trying to please God.
However, there is a need to plan for our future life if we want to have a good future life. In Hinduism, the law of karma teaches that Hindus must perform good karma (actions) in order to be re-united with God. By not attempting to have a good future life, Hindus will be trapped in moksha- the cycle of birth, death and re-birth. Christianity warns people of the need to make preparations because failure to do so could mean that they will go to Hell. Preparing for life after death is particularly important in Christianity because unlike Hinduism, people are only allowed one chance on Earth to prove themselves to be good people to God.