Does consciousness end with the death of the body

by givemejustalittlemoretime 129 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Viviane

    I have an opinion just like everyone else.

    Not all opinions are equal.

  • James Brown
    James Brown

    Not all opinions are equal. Evidence-backed opinions carry more weight.

    I agree and the opinion that when your'e dead your'e dead has the most weight and evidence.

    So I am eating, drinking and being merry, everyday, all the time 24/7.

  • jgnat

    A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God. - Ecclesiastes 2:24

  • James Brown
    James Brown

    A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God. - Ecclesiastes 2:24

    In my opinion that is




    From God.

  • jgnat

    ...or Solomon's sober opinion.

  • MadGiant

    And I agree, it's your "opinion" but once you make that "opinion" public, it can be analyzed and questioned. That who the world works. Their is only one way to keep people from questioning your "opinion". The problem is the lack of originality, you just took your old set of believes, change a few names ant keep it completely intact.


  • Perry

    No, it's not conclusive, and I had addressed your concerns since the beginning. I will give it one more try to see if I understand the discussion.

    Lanza’s theory of biocentrism has seven principles:


    repeat ....

    This is not even science.

    Mad Giant, With all due respect you have not even attempted to explain the entangled particle experiment which clearly demonstrates that the OBSERVER ALONE generates the outcome of partical formation and not the measuring apparatus, let alone the time distortion characteristics. If you could explain it, you would immediately receive the nobel prize for saving naturalism.

    The whole thing ie, you, me, the universe, our minds, God's mind is a giant set up designed for intellectual consumption. Just waving a magic wand and declaring, " This is not even science " DOESN'T WORK ANYMORE. It is science, get used to it. Consider:

    Fine Tuning of the Physical Constants of the Universe

    ParameterMax. Deviation
    Ratio of Electrons:Protons 1:10 37
    Ratio of Electromagnetic Force:Gravity 1:10 40
    Expansion Rate of Universe 1:10 55
    Mass Density of Universe1 1:10 59
    Cosmological Constant 1:10 120
    These numbers represent the maximum deviation from the accepted values, that would either prevent the universe from existing now, not having matter, or be unsuitable for any form of life.
    Degree of fine tuning

    Recent Studies have confirmed the fine tuning of the cosmological constant (also known as "dark energy"). This cosmological constant is a force that increases with the increasing size of the universe. First hypothesized by Albert Einstein, the cosmological constant was rejected by him, because of lack of real world data. However, recent supernova 1A data demonstrated the existence of a cosmological constant that probably made up for the lack of light and dark matter in the universe. 2 However, the data was tentative, since there was some variability among observations. Recent cosmic microwave background (CMB) measurement not only demonstrate the existence of the cosmological constant, but the value of the constant. It turns out that the value of the cosmological constant exactly makes up for the lack of matter in the universe. 3

    The degree of fine-tuning is difficult to imagine. Dr. Hugh Ross gives an example of the least fine-tuned of the above four examples in his book, The Creator and the Cosmos, which is reproduced here:

    One part in 10 37 is such an incredibly sensitive balance that it is hard to visualize. The following analogy might help: Cover the entire North American continent in dimes all the way up to the moon, a height of about 239,000 miles (In comparison, the money to pay for the U.S. federal government debt would cover one square mile less than two feet deep with dimes.). Next, pile dimes from here to the moon on a billion other continents the same size as North America. Paint one dime red and mix it into the billions of piles of dimes. Blindfold a friend and ask him to pick out one dime. The odds that he will pick the red dime are one in 10 37 . (p. 115)

    These are just a few examples. There are nearly 200 now confirmed.

    Christians are just asking people to have another look. Would God go to all this trouble and not judge the moral creatures that he created all this for? There is judgment after death. There is also consciousness and eternity. Because Christians have experienced the habitation of the new spirit and Jesus Christ himself personally in their lives, they speak out, like I do. All useful knowledge doesn't come from just the governing body as most of us once believed, just as all useful knowledges doesn't come just from experiments as many of those same people have gravitated to now believing.

    There is the mind of God to deal with after our own has reached its limits. And, he promises to judge his eternal creatures that he made in his image.

  • designs

    What about the immorality of the Bible's God....

  • Viviane

    Mad Giant, With all due respect you have not even attempted to explain the entangled particle experiment which clearly demonstrates that the OBSERVER ALONE generates the outcome of partical formation and not the measuring apparatus, let alone the time distortion characteristics. If you could explain it, you would immediately receive the nobel prize for saving naturalism.

    Perry, you haven't shown that to be the case. At all. Not even close. You have all your work ahead of you. You've not even explained what time distortion you are referring to.

    Your fine tuning argument is the equivalent of a puddle claiming how the hole was perfectly designed to fit it. If the universe were any other way, we wouldn't be here to comment upon it.

    Now, back to your original argument. Please answer the questions you've been asked and demonstrate your leap from superposition of states to Jesus. Connect the dots. Be specific.

  • MadGiant

    "Mad Giant, With all due respect you have not even attempted to explain the entangled particle experiment which clearly demonstrates that the OBSERVER ALONE generates the outcome of partical formation and not the measuring apparatus, let alone the time distortion characteristics. If you could explain it, you would immediately receive the nobel prize for saving naturalism.

    The whole thing ie, you, me, the universe, our minds, God's mind is a giant set up designed for intellectual consumption. Just waving a magic wand and declaring, " This is not even science " DOESN'T WORK ANYMORE. It is science, get used to it. Consider:" - Perry

    "you would immediately receive the nobel prize for saving naturalism." - Perry
    You Sir are an Arrogant Little Man

    Consciousness is not just an issue for biologists; it’s a problem for physics. There is nothing in modern physics that explains how a group of molecules in a brain creates consciousness. The beauty of a sunset, the taste of a delicious meal, these are all mysteries to science — which can sometimes pin down where in the brain the sensations arise, but not how and why there is any subjective personal experience to begin with. And, what’s worse, nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter. Our understanding of this most basic phenomenon is virtually nil. Interestingly, most models of physics do not even recognize this as a problem.

    "OBSERVER ALONE generates the outcome of partical formation and not the measuring apparatus," - Perry
    From one of the articles:

    Then, inevitably, Lanza drags in quantum mechanics, in the form of The Observer Effect. Lanza notes that “the observer” (and consciousness) affect the outcome of quantum-mechanical studies. He doesn’t note, though, “observer” need not be conscious: it can be a non-conscious machine that measures quantum phenomena. That by itself would seem to make hash of his theory. Lanza then mooshes together the observer effect and the fact that we perceive a version of reality filtered through our neurons to confect his Big Theory: reality is in fact created by the observer, and isn’t there (or isn’t coherent) when it’s not observed. Here’s the meat of his theory:

    The results of quantum physics, such as the two-slit experiment, tell us that not a single one of those subatomic particles actually occupies a definite place. Rather, they exist as a range of possibilities — as waves of probability — as the German physicist Max Born demonstrated back in 1926. They are statistical predictions — nothing but a likely outcome. In fact, outside of that idea, nothing is there! If they are not being observed, they cannot be thought of as having any real existence — either duration or a position in space. It is only in the presence of an observer — that is, when you go back in to get a drink of water [he says that our kitchen isn't really there when we leave it]— that the mind sets the scaffolding of these particles in place. Until it actually lays down the threads (somewhere in the haze of probabilities that represent the object’s range of possible values) they cannot be thought of as being either here or there, or having an actual position, a physical reality.

    Indeed, it is here that biocentrism suggests a very different view of reality. Most people, in and out of the sciences, imagine the external world to exist on its own, with an appearance that more-or-less resembles what we ourselves see. Human or animal eyes, according to this view, are merely clear windows that accurately let in the world. If our personal window ceases to exist, as in death, or is painted black and opaque, as in blindness, that doesn’t in any way alter the continued existence of the external reality or its supposed “actual” appearance. A tree is still there, the moon still shines, whether or not we are cognizing them. They have an independent existence. True, a dog may see an autumn maple solely in shades of gray, and an eagle may perceive much greater detail among its leaves, but most creatures basically apprehend the same visually real object, which persists even if no eyes were upon it.

    This “Is it really there?” issue is ancient, and of course predates biocentrism. Biocentrism, however, explains why one view and not the other may be correct. The converse is equally true: Once one fully understands that there is no independent external universe outside of biological existence, the rest more or less falls into place.

    He never explains the “rest more of less falls into place” (i.e. does this explain the physical constants—or are they mere constructs?), but this idea is badly wrong. Yes, of course our perception of reality may be conditioned by our neurons (a bee sees differently from us), but the wavelengths of light that fuel perception are invariant among organisms. And even if quantum phenomena are puzzling on the micro level (Lanza mentions, of course, quantum entanglement and the two-slit experiment—phenomena also used to empower Chopra’s woo), they almost certainly have no effect on the macro level: on our consciousness and on the behavior of objects bigger than a cell (that is, if molecules aren’t illusions of our consciousness!).

    "let alone the time distortion characteristics." - Perry
    2. Biocentrism Misinterprets Several Scientifically Testable Truths

    The scientific background to the biocentrism idea is described in Robert Lanza’s book Biocentrism: How Life and Consciousness Are the Keys to Understanding the True Nature of the Universe, in which Lanza proposes that biology and not physics is the key to understanding the universe. Vital to his proposal is the idea that the universe does not really exist unless it is being observed by a conscious observer. To support this idea, Lanza makes a series of claims:

    (a) Lanza questions the conventional idea that space and time exist as objective properties of the universe. In doing this, he argues that space and time are products of human consciousness and do not exist outside of the observer. Indeed, Lanza concludes that everything we perceive is created by the act of perception.

    The intent behind this argument is to help consolidate the view that subjective experience is all there is. However, if you dig into what Lanza says it becomes clear that he is positioning the relativistic nature of reality to make it seem incongruous with its objective existence. His reasoning relies on a subtle muddling of the concepts of subjectivity and objectivity. Take, for example, his argument here:

    “Consider the color and brightness of everything you see ‘out there.’ On its own, light doesn’t have any color or brightness at all. The unquestionable reality is that nothing remotely resembling what you see could be present without your consciousness. Consider the weather: We step outside and see a blue sky – but the cells in our brain could easily be changed so we ‘see’ red or green instead. We think it feels hot and humid, but to a tropical frog it would feel cold and dry. In any case, you get the point. This logic applies to virtually everything.“

    There is only some partial truth to Lanza’s claims. Color is an experiential truth – that is, it is a descriptive phenomenon that lies outside of objective reality. No physicist will deny this. However, the physical properties of light that are responsible for color are characteristics of the natural universe. Therefore, the sensory experience of color is subjective, but the properties of light responsible for that sensory experience are objectively true. The mind does not create the natural phenomenon itself; it creates a subjective experience or a representation of the phenomenon.

    Similarly, temperature perception may vary from species to species, since it is a subjective experience, but the property of matter that causes this subjective experience is objectively real; temperature is determined by the average kinetic energy of the molecules of matter, and there is nothing subjective about that. Give a thermometer to a human and to an ass: they would both record the same value for the temperature at a chosen spot of measurement.

    The idea that ‘color’ is a fact of the natural universe has been described by G. E. Moore as a naturalistic fallacy. Also, the idea that color is created by an intelligent creator is a supernaturalistic fallacy. It can be said that the idea that color is created objectively in the universe by the subjective consciousness of the observer is an anthropic fallacy. The correct view is that ‘color’ is the subjective sensory perception by the observer of a certain property of the universe that the observer is a part of.

    Time and space receive similar treatment as color and heat in Lanza’s biocentrism. Lanza reaches the conclusion that time does not exist outside the observer by conflating absolute time (which does not exist) with objective time (which does). In 2007 Lanza made his argument using an ancient mathematical riddle known as Zeno’s Arrow paradox. In essence, Zeno’s Arrow paradox involves motion in space-time. Lanza says:

    “Even time itself is not exempted from biocentrism. Our sense of the forward motion of time is really the result of an infinite number of decisions that only seem to be a smooth continuous path. At each moment we are at the edge of a paradox known as The Arrow, first described 2,500 years ago by the philosopher Zeno of Elea. Starting logically with the premise that nothing can be in two places at once, he reasoned that an arrow is only in one place during any given instance of its flight. But if it is in only one place, it must be at rest. The arrow must then be at rest at every moment of its flight. Logically, motion is impossible. But is motion impossible? Or rather, is this analogy proof that the forward motion of time is not a feature of the external world but a projection of something within us? Time is not an absolute reality but an aspect of our consciousness.”

    In a more recent article Lanza brings up the implications of special relativity on Zeno’s Arrow paradox. He writes:

    “Consider a film of an archery tournament. An archer shoots an arrow and the camera follows its trajectory. Suddenly the projector stops on a single frame — you stare at the image of an arrow in mid-flight. The pause enables you to know the position of the arrow with great accuracy, but it’s going nowhere; its velocity is no longer known. This is the fuzziness described by in the uncertainty principle: sharpness in one parameter induces blurriness in the other. All of this makes perfect sense from a biocentric perspective. Everything we perceive is actively being reconstructed inside our heads. Time is simply the summation of the ‘frames’ occurring inside the mind. But change doesn’t mean there is an actual invisible matrix called “time” in which changes occur. That is just our own way of making sense of things.”

    In the first case Lanza seems to state that motion is logically impossible (which is a pre-relativistic view of the paradox) and in the next case he mentions that uncertainty is present in the system (a post-relativistic model of motion). In both cases, however, Lanza’s conclusion is the same – biocentrism is true for time. No matter what the facts about the nature of time, Lanza concludes that time is not real. His model is unfalsifiable and therefore cannot be a part of science. What Lanza doesn’t let on is that Einstein’s special-relativity theory removes the possibility of absolute time, not of time itself. Zeno’s Arrow paradox is resolved by replacing the idea of absolute time with Einstein’s relativistic coupling of space and time. Space-time has an uncertainty in quantum mechanics, but it is not nonexistent. The idea of time as a series of sequential events that we perceive and put together in our heads is an experiential version of time. This is the way we have evolved to perceive time. This experiential version of time seems absolute, because we evolved to perceive it that way. However, in reality time is relative. This is a fundamental fact of modern physics. Time does exist outside of the observer, but allows us only a narrow perception of its true nature.

    Space is the other property of the universe that Lanza attempts to describe as purely a product of consciousness. He says “Wave your hand through the air. If you take everything away, what’s left? The answer is nothing. So why do we pretend space is a thing”. Again, Einstein’s theory of special relativity provides us with objective predictions that we can look for, such as the bending of space-time. Such events have been observed and verified multiple times. Space is a ‘thing’ as far as the objective universe is concerned.

    Lanza says “Space and time are simply the mind’s tools for putting everything together.” This is true , but there is a difference between being the ‘mind’s tools’ and being created by the mind itself. In the first instance the conscious perception of space and time is an experiential trick that the mind uses to make sense of the objective universe, and in the other space and time are actual physical manifestations of the mind. The former is tested and true while the latter is an idealistic notion that is not supported by science. The experiential conception of space and time is different from objective space and time that comprise the universe. This difference is similar to how color is different from photon frequency. The former is subjective while the latter is objective.

    Can Lanza deny all the evidence that, whereas we humans emerged on the scene very recently, our Earth and the solar system and the universe at large have been there all along? What about all the objective evidence that life forms have emerged and evolved to greater and greater complexity, resulting in the emergence of humans at a certain stage in the evolutionary history of the Earth? What about all the fossil evidence for how biological and other forms of complexity have been evolving? How can humans arrogate to themselves the power to create objective reality?

    Let us recapitulate the main points:

    (a) Space and time exist, even though they are relative and not absolute.

    (b) Modern quantum theory, long after the now-discredited Copenhagen interpretation, is consistent with the idea of an objective universe that exists without a conscious observer.

    (c) Lanza and Chopra misunderstand and misuse the anthropic principle.

    (d) The biocentrism approach does not provide any new information about the nature of consciousness, and relies on ignoring recent advances in understanding consciousness from a scientific perspective.

    (e) Both authors show thinly-veiled disdain for Darwin, while not actually addressing his science in the article. Chopra has demonstrated his utter ignorance of evolution multiple times.

    Modern physics is a vast and multi-layered web that stretches over the entire deck of cards. All other natural sciences – all truths that exist in the material world- are interrelated, held together by the mathematical reality of physics. Fundamental theories in physics are supported by multiple lines of evidence from many different scientific disciplines, developed and tested over decades. Clearly, those who propose new theories that purport to redefine fundamental assumptions or paradigms in physics have their work cut out for them. Our contention is that the theory of biocentrism, if analysed properly, does not hold up to scrutiny. It is not the paradigm change that it claims to be. It is also our view that one can find much meaning, beauty and purpose in a naturalistic view of the universe, without having to resort to mystical notions of reality.


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