Jewish View of the Afterlife
Rishon Rishon has an interesting summary of the Jewish point-of-view of what happens after we die.
I particularly agreed with this:
“Most Jews give little thought to the details of these ideas, and if they do, it is usually in an academic sense, rather than as a deeply felt belief. However, what is deeply felt among the vast majority of Jews is that we do have an immortal soul (with the possible exception of particularly evil people), and we will be rewarded for the good that we do. Knowing the particulars is not particularly important at this point in time. It is what I believe too.”
One of the things that bothers me is that there are people in the world who do good deeds because they hope to be rewarded and not because they think it is the right thing to do. I take issue with a system that encourages behavior solely based upon a reward as to my way of thinking it diminishes us people and does not encourage positive growth.
Is it idealistic to ask that people do good things because they are the right thing to do and not because of a reward? Absolutely, but it still comes back to a question of standards. Set your standards high, reach beyond your grasp and try to hit that higher mark.
If you set the bar lower you reduce you ability to meet your potential, or so it would seem to me.