Rebirth (Buddhism)

Since there actually is another world (any world other than the present human one, i.e. different rebirth realms), one who holds the view 'there is no other world' has wrong view...

[The Buddha said]: Ananda, in dependence on consciousness there is name and form. What is the meaning of this? If consciousness did not enter the mother's womb, would there be name and form? [Ananda] replied: No.

The Indian Buddhist philosopher Dharmakīrti (fl. c. 6th or 7th century) outlined one of the most influential arguments for rebirth.

With respect to the knowing (consciousness or mind) of an ordinary being just born:

The Buddha's main pragmatic argument is that if one accepted his teachings, one would be likely to pay careful attention to one's actions, so as to do no harm. This in and of itself is a worthy activity regardless of whether the rest of the path was true. When applying this argument to the issue of rebirth and karmic results, the Buddha sometimes coupled it with a second pragmatic argument that resembles Pascal's wager: If one practices the Dhamma, one leads a blameless life in the here-and-now. Even if the afterlife and karmic results do not exist, one has not lost the wager, for the blamelessness of one's life is a reward in and of itself. If there is an afterlife with karmic results, then one has won a double reward: the blamelessness of one's life here and now, and the good rewards of one's actions in the afterlife. These two pragmatic arguments form the central message of this sutta.

If you assume that your actions have results, and those results will reverberate through many lifetimes, it's easier to stick to your principles not to lie, kill, or steal even under severe duress. And even though you may not know whether these assumptions are true, you cannot plan an action without implicitly wagering on the issue. This is why simply stating, "I don't know," is not an adequate response to the questions of rebirth and the efficacy of karma. The attitude behind it may be honest on one level, but it's dishonest in thinking that this is all that needs to be said, for it ignores the fact that you have to make assumptions about the possible results of your actions every time you act.

If we embrace a materialistic worldview, we will naturally seek satisfaction and fulfillment by turning our attention to the outside world, looking for novel sensory and intellectual experiences as well as new material acquisitions. Likewise, when we focus on decreasing our level of suffering and pain, once again our orientation will be outward, looking for scientific and technological breakthroughs to relieve our suffering. Human desire for ever-greater happiness seems to be insatiable, and a materialistic worldview strongly supports materialistic values and a way of life centered on the never-ending quest of consumerism... A materialistic outlook that focuses our attention on the bounties of the external physical world simultaneously blinds us to the inner resources of the human heart and mind. If all our efforts go toward the alleviation of suffering and realization of happiness by external means, the inner ways that we might pursue the good life will be unexplored. A materialistic worldview provides no rationale for making a commitment to ethics or spiritual practice of any kind. Material values and consumerism are naturally aligned with materialism, which reduces meditation to a means for making a materialistic way of life more bearable.

Regardless of what we believe, our actions will reverberate beyond our deaths. Irrespective of our personal survival, the legacy of our thoughts, words, and deeds will continue through the impressions we leave behind in the lives of those we have influenced or touched in any way.