Fandango’s Provocative Question #25

FPQWelcome once again to Fandango’s Provocative Question. Each week I will pose what I think is a provocative question for your consideration. By provocative, I don’t mean a question that will cause annoyance or anger. Nor do I mean a question intended to arouse sexual desire or interest.

What I do mean is a question that is likely to get you to think, to be creative, and to provoke a response. Hopefully a positive response.

Today I am borrowing my provocative question from Ursula at An Upturned Soul. In a recent post she indicated that one sign of “existential intelligence” is that you “regularly wonder what happens to us after death as well as where we were before we were born.”

I’m not sure I even understand what “existential intelligence” is, but I do have a position on where we were before we were born (nowhere, we didn’t exist) and what happens to us after death (poof, we’re gone and no longer exist). I guess that’s not very existential of me. Oh well.

But I thought it would be fascinating to find out what all of you think.

So today’s provocative question is all about the before and after:

“Where do you believe you were you before you were born and what do you believe will happen to you after you die?”

If you choose to participate, write a post with your response to the question. Once you are done, tag your post with #FPQ and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Or you can simply include a link to your post in the comments.

And most important, have fun.

The issue with pingbacks not showing up seems to have been resolved, but you might check to confirm that your pingback is there. If not, please manually add your link in the comments.

46 thoughts on “Fandango’s Provocative Question #25

  1. Carol Anne May 29, 2019 / 3:17 am

    I’m not sure about where I as before I was born, all I can say on that is, who knows! But after we die, I believe our spirit lives on, our soul goes somewhere, at least I hope it does. Whether that is heaven, I am not sure, but I do believe we live on in spirit.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Richmond Road May 29, 2019 / 3:59 am

    I think this is an instance when our language fails us. The whole idea of ‘before I was born’ or ‘after I die’ has no meaning from a personal perspective – not in English, anyway.
    The question asks for an observation from a non-existent observer. Things only exist (or are describable) via my (or your) perception. If I cease to exist (i.e. have no sensual perception) then everything becomes indescribable. If I cease to exist then everything ceases to exist since everything’s existence can only be defined (from my perspective) on my own observations.

    Maybe this was not the answer you were looking for.

    Actually I think we all come from, and go to, a happy place where we all eat ice-cream and we never get fat.


      • Richmond Road May 29, 2019 / 1:54 pm

        No, I can see where you are coming from, but that is not the case. I am not saying that ‘things’ are dependent on my existence but that my experience of those things and hence my description of them is dependent on my existence. Therefore to ask me to describe some thing or event that occurs outside my existence becomes meaningless.
        Especially when the very thing you are asking for a description of has no existence.

        Perhaps I’ve missed the point. Perhaps you are asking, “Do you believe that you existed before you were born or that you will after you die?” I think you know my answer to that.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Fandango May 29, 2019 / 5:07 pm

          I’m asking where you were before you were born and what will happen after you die. That could translate to whether or not you existed before birth and will exist after death, I suppose. As to Solipsism, like you, I don’t believe that “things” will cease to exist after my death. But my awareness of things will cease to exist, since in death, there is no awareness. Hence, from MY perspective, once I die, nothing will exist…to me. I think we are really saying the same thing.


            • Richmond Road May 29, 2019 / 7:27 pm

              That said, the very notion of ‘existence’ is a tricky one to get a hold of. Since our only possible conceptualisation of it comes from our own experiential existence then I think there is a compelling argument to suggest that all existence ceases with the cessation of my own existence.
              It’s an age old problem, of course. I think our difficulty is not in providing an answer so much as actually understanding the question.
              I, for one, am a long way from that.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Fandango May 29, 2019 / 8:24 pm

              “… all existence ceases with the cessation of my own existence.” Yes, from your own perspective it does, since, when you cease to exist, to you, nothing else exists.


            • Don May 30, 2019 / 5:26 pm

              Death does not concern us, because as long as we exist, death is not here. And when it does come, we no longer exist.
              Epicurus, 341-270 BC

              Liked by 1 person

            • Don May 30, 2019 / 5:27 pm

              In other words, after death there is no experience hence nothing to fear, or otherwise concern us.

              Liked by 1 person

  3. Richmond Road May 29, 2019 / 4:09 am

    And may I add …. ?

    I think it ridiculous that we humans think that we are so fucking special. Does anyone wonder what happens to a duck when it dies? Or a mosquito? Or a carrot?


    • Fandango May 29, 2019 / 7:37 am

      Of course not, because we’ve been indoctrinated since birth that only humans have souls. If people believed that carrots had souls, we’d never be able to eat carrot cake. Life just wouldn’t be worth living.


        • Fandango May 29, 2019 / 5:08 pm

          Unfortunately, too many don’t know how utterly ridiculous that concept is.


        • Fandango May 29, 2019 / 8:30 pm

          Not if you’re a vampire or a zombie or the devil.


          • Marleen May 30, 2019 / 1:27 pm

            I wanted to share this on a serious note elsewhere… but, turns out, I can’t. You’ll see why (towards the end, not at the end but the latter half). This is almost ten and a half minutes long. [About a third of the way in a lower banner starts referring to Mitch as “Yertle the Turtle” (destroying democracy). Early on, one of the panelists sees McConnell as a dukes of hazard villain.]

            Mitch McConnell Gets Cornered By Question

            In answer to the shocking question, no. I don’t even want to imagine that (you’ll see what I mean). But this does occasion a way in which I can in part answer what I think happens when we die (or sometime thereafter). I do believe many people will live on after death — but that not all will. Someone who is comfortable (even perky) with a Supreme Court seat being held by someone who thinks an employee should die of cold in a truck for his employer probably isn’t going to be one of them [while a change of heart on his part is theoretically possible].

            Liked by 1 person

            • Fandango May 30, 2019 / 3:05 pm

              Mitch McConnell, in my opinion, is even more deplorable and more dangerous to America than Donald Trump is.


    • Don May 30, 2019 / 10:04 am

      What is this “soul” thing? What matters is if a lifeform is sentient. It seems immoral to eat a sentient being, or even its corpse. I can’t explain why offhand. And sentience is hard to define too. Let’s just say I eat cows but not dolphins. The question of plants is moot.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Richmond Road May 30, 2019 / 2:23 pm

        Hmmm …. I still think it’s very arrogant of us to give credit to existing things according to how closely they appear to resemble us … hence a dolphin (which tastes a bit like chicken, by the way) is elevated to a position above a cow who, in turn, is rated well above the humble carrot. Who are we to assume that sentience is the most valuable attribute in the universe? Orange-ness’ might actually be the thing to which all beings should aspire.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Fandango May 30, 2019 / 3:45 pm

          “Orange-ness’ might actually be the thing to which all beings should aspire.” Wait, the US president considers himself to be His Orangeness,” so hush up! I think he’s more like His Orange Mess.”


          • Marleen May 30, 2019 / 5:51 pm

            Ah… yes, that would be why he couldn’t differentiate between “origins” and “oranges” — he himself is the end-all and be-all. But… no-o-o-o!

            Liked by 1 person

      • Richmond Road May 30, 2019 / 2:25 pm

        And, of course, just because something ‘seems’ immoral doesn’t mean that it is…… a fact I have cheerfully used to justify some of my appalling behaviour over the years.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Don May 29, 2019 / 6:09 am

    “And most important, have fun.” That might preclude a serious response. I have a couple tentative and contradictory beliefs, but the idea of expounding on them doesn’t fill me with glue. I meant glee. SwiftKey is already messing with me.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango May 29, 2019 / 7:56 am

      I hope that bloggers can have fun even when responding to provocative questions on relatively serious matters. If you ever get the glue off, I’d be interested in reading your beliefs.


    • Marleen May 29, 2019 / 7:41 pm

      I’d like to know what two beliefs someone might tentatively hold while seeing them as contradictory.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. crushedcaramel May 29, 2019 / 11:40 am

    Oh…has a whole week passed? I am still working on my post about fear from last week…I think I am going to concentrate on that one because this new question would take me so long to answer!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango May 29, 2019 / 4:26 pm

      Take your time. There’s no time limit.


    • Fandango May 29, 2019 / 4:47 pm

      I appreciate you taking the time to share you beliefs. I respect everyone’s right to their beliefs. Whatever gets you through your day, right?


    • Don May 30, 2019 / 10:19 am

      I had not read so much before about premortal lives. I found it interesting because the beliefs of many people I know are in alignment with this. If there is some truth in what is believed by the spiritual community that happens to be closest to me at this time, then I could posit that Joseph Smith also was granted a remarkable insight. Like all of us, though, he was a man with free will, and in his case his interpretation of this vision was heavily influenced by the spiritual and religious communities he was exposed to in western New York in the early 1800s. This means that there is truth as well as cultural invention in the LDS church, as is the case in literally every religion on Earth.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Marleen May 30, 2019 / 4:38 pm

        I largely agree with this, while I wouldn’t include all religions. Most religion includes at least some goodness — if from nothing else than people (in whatever land or region or culture) trying to figure out how to get along in this world. (Of course, there is the question of how much corruption has seeped in to benefit the most ruthless or dishonest or selfish/greedy.) A few (but not all) might (and I think do) also have some spiritual insight or vision (whether from the beginning of the religion or from sometime after the origins of the religion… and an individual can realize something(s) — in fact, it all [not religion per se] ultimately comes down to the individual).* The main lense through which I see life I also see in an anthropological {for the possible lack of a better word} way, rather than inerrant, at the same time that I believe there is truth.

        * I am not, here, intending to promote hyper-individualism. Communities matter. Others matter. But each person is accountable for their own understanding and conscience and accountability and, at times, for what they stand for and communicate.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Marleen May 30, 2019 / 5:38 pm

          Oops. Sorry for the poorly-worded repetition. Edit: * … each person is accountable for their own understanding and conscience; accountable too, at times, to stand for and communicate something in a larger way (as well as accountable for standing in the wrong).

          I don’t mean by this that each individually creates their own reality.

          Liked by 1 person

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