|Panel from The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, completed in 1432 by Jan van Eyck|
Question on Reddit: What would happen if a groundbreaking scientific discovery disproved the afterlife?
My Bond-ish answer: Never say never, but disproving the existence of anything is pretty tough, and with something as intangible as the afterlife, I am confident no proof is possible. It's kind of like saying the word 'afterlife' doesn't exist. I mean you could eradicate every printed and digital version of word, but then someone would say it and someone would write it down and now here it is again. And you spent so much effort getting rid of it. Well, the eradication effort was a big boost to the defense industry and so our economy.
Being as I am who I is, I went looking for a picture to accompany this post, and one I found (top) got me to thinking about how the whole church thing got started. I suspect leaders found that saying a few words to their people helped them with whatever was on the board for the week ahead. It evolved into ritual, then acquired trappings both physical and mystical. And if you were brought up with it, it was the natural order of things. It's only when you encounter something that shakes your world view that you would even begin to question your religion.