Is there an Afterlife?
"There is no conclusive evidence of life after death, but there is no evidence of any sort against it. Soon enough you will know, so why fret about it?"
- Robert A. Heilein
Appropriately concluding the series with a question which cannot be totally answered. Here, the answer is not definitely yes or no, the answer is that we don't know - at least for now: we have no idea. We've never had infallible scientific evidence of somebody coming back from the dead telling us exactly what occurs after life. Because of that, the evidence of nothing points us mostly to the fact that we just perish and that is that.
We don't know, and that's okay. The conclusion of the whole matter is that sometimes we don't have the answers, sometimes we can't figure it out, but that also shouldn't be the stopping point. We must remain curious, we must remain experimenters of those things we can wrangle into understanding, because we don't know if there is an afterlife, doesn't mean that we will never find out.
This question of the afterlife, rests firmly upon a more philosophical hinge, it isn't fully philosophical either, it is also somewhat scientific - but it isn't one of the more pressing questions to answer either, because we're mostly figuring out ways to prolong life, and avoid the unknown hereafter altogether.
But one day, we may answer it. One day, we might be able to stare into the workings of the brain once it has shutoff and see if there is any awareness beyond the mind once it dies.
But, as of right now, we have no proof, and with no proof we can only do one thing: hypothesize - as we've done for centuries, and we're damn good at it. Taking guesses and theorizing about the world around us helps us understand ourselves, our universe and how to live a healthier, more meaningful life. It's what we do, we explore - not only the world visibly available to us, but the ideological, theoretical invisible universe surrounding us ever single moment.
Because we don't know everything, does not maintain that we can't know everything. Stay curious.
"The soul takes nothing with her to the next world but her education and her culture. At the beginning of the journey to the next world, one's education and culture can either provide the greatest assistance, or else act as the greatest burden, to the person who has just died."