Though I have a fair amount of confidence in rebirth, based on the faith I have in people's claims, there are still some issues I struggle with. They may very well have come up at some previous stage in this topic but it is a bit too much for me to work through so please excuse me posing them anyway
1. We know today that many of our mental world - styles of thinking, habits, proneness to addiction etc are brain-related, genetic, and/or inheritable. So it would seem that the immaterial mind, when stripped from all of these physical conditions, is a very very abstract thing, maybe purely consciousness and nothing else. If this is so, then I find it quite difficult to give the law of karma a place beyond/through death, as many of these good and bad tendencies that we are trained in are stored in the brain and die with the brain. How does karma go from one life to the next? And how can this mind cause a particular rebirth, that is to say, "want" a particular rebirth, when "wanting" is something that rises from the (now dead) brain and all its memories, associations, etc?
2. If something dies, something will have to be born in order to have that mind reborn. So, if I kill something, that implies that causes a birth, and if I have a baby, I'm killing something else. Isn't this a violation of the law of cause and effect? Let's say for the sake of the argument we'd start a war and kill millions of people, how can this cause a birth wave, a phenomenon that in its own has his own completely separate causes? And what if we all decide to have lots of kids, where do those minds come from? See my point? Cause and effect seem really messed up there.
3. If we acknowledge minds are in all sentient beings, and they are countless, humans making up only a very tiny portion of them, then how comes it that people who claim to rememeber a past life (sometimes one from centuries ago) are always human? Why wouldn't anyone remember a completely strange and exotic kind of life? What are the odds of some mind turning out human on this little planet over here repeatedly? Isn't it strange?
I am not sure about the existence of rebirth but I am willing to have some confidence in it. These issues aren't about whether or not it exists, I'm just looking for a way of understanding it that makes sense considering these points. Anyone who has any insights in this that might help? I find this extremely curious since on the one hand I really do have faith in what evidence people bring to the table, but on the other hand these issues seem to completely discredit the whole idea. Thanks in advance