Is There Life After Death

by Brokeback Watchtower 62 Replies latest social entertainment

  • slimboyfat

    I don’t know but the idea that our thoughts are identical to electrochemical impulses in the brain is a bit odd too. I am not even sure what it means. Consciousness feels as if it’s a thing in its own right. Dennett says consciousness is a sort of delusion, and all that is really happening is brain patterns. But he’s never made a good answe to Mary Midgley who asks: if consciousness is a delusion, then who exactly is being deluded? If we are capable of delusion about being conscious then there is more to us than just patterns. There is a consciousness that needs to be explained still. And we are back to square one.

    In the analogy of the radio I guess we all have our own stations. The important point of the analogy is the brain as a receiver rather than producer of consciousness. How many radio stations there are seems to be a side issue.

    Although having said that, some who have explored afterlife stories do describe a sort of collective consciousness, or at least an awareness of consciousness that is not simply clearly individualistic in the afterlife.

    Again it somewhat comes down to what you view is fundamental, matter or consciousness. The answer is not straightforward.

    The main point is that brain damage does not necessarily prove consciousness can’t exist outside the brain, any more than a broken radio proves a radio station can’t exist outside that particular radio.

  • JW_Rogue

    What if life after death is not like some continuous series of lives but a complete restart? Think about like this: right now, all manner of life is being created everyday. Of course you don't experience those lives because currently you are experiencing your own reality through your brain. Now let's say you pass on, your consciousness no longer exists it is not passed on in anyway to anyone else. You're nothing, you cease to exist. However, lives are still being created and a consciousness must still inhabit them. It could be that a new consciousness would be experienced first hand but without any connection to any past life.

  • Brokeback Watchtower
    Brokeback Watchtower

    Plenty of food for thought as they say. Flexibility in one's thinking and speculations about many worlds interpretation possibilities, the possibility this whole universe could just be a computer simulation as proposed by certain men of science, I think could be used to explain some of this after life evidence,.

    A little bit about Monistic Idealism:

    aterialism and idealism

    In his book The Self-Aware Universe: How consciousness creates the material world [1], physicist Amit Goswami sets out to develop a new paradigm, 'a unifying worldview that will integrate mind and spirit into science' (p. 1). He argues against material (or scientific) realism, the philosophy which holds that material reality is the only reality, that all things are made of matter (and its correlates, energy and fields), and that consciousness is an epiphenomenon of matter. Instead, he advocates 'monistic idealism', the philosophy that defines consciousness as the primary reality, the ground of all being, and regards the objects of empirical reality as epiphenomena of consciousness. Although Goswami believes that everything is a modified form of consciousness, he maintains that physical matter is dead and unconscious.

    The theosophical tradition – a synthesis of science, religion, and philosophy – proposes that universal nature is essentially a unity, and that consciousness, life, and substance are therefore fundamentally one. It teaches an 'objective idealism': all finite, manifested beings and things are temporary manifestations of the ultimate reality of consciousness-life-substance. The physical world is relatively 'real' for those living in it, but is an illusion (mâyâ) when contrasted with the unlimited and ineffable reality of which it is part. There is no such thing as dead, unconscious matter; physical matter is a crystallized, sleeping form of consciousness-life-substance, and more complex physical forms do not create life but merely allow a greater degree of inner vitality to be expressed through the physical form.

    Materialist science has found it extremely difficult to define where the boundary between living and 'nonliving' matter lies. If we regard anything that is subject to change and exchanges matter and energy with its surroundings as alive, then all natural systems are alive for none are absolutely unchanging. Even 'elementary' and supposedly 'structureless' subatomic particles may be just as complex in their own terms as a planet or sun, their complexity being obscured by the fact that they are so minuscule and live at such fantastic speeds in comparison with ourselves.

  • Perry

    There is death after death, but you are still conscious.

  • Island Man
    Island Man

    There is no evidence of life after death. The notion of life after death is nothing but wishful thinking born of an inability to accept or comprehend our own mortality. No normal person in a normal state of mind, wants to die; and it's impossible to imagine what it's like to be dead. We can only imagine what it's like to be alive. So it's very tempting to entertain the notion that life must go on in some way after death.

  • slimboyfat

    It depends on whether you view the material universe or consciousness as fundamental.

    If the fundamental component of reality is the material universe and consciousness is a random result of blind material forces, then it makes sense to say that consciousness ends at death.

    But if consciousness is findamental then it makes more sense to view the material world as the canvas on which a more basic or essential aspect of being is being projected.

    If I am sitting on a chair what do I really know? Do I know that the chair exists but that my sense of self sitting on the chair may be a delusion? Or do I know that my sense of sitting on the chair is real, and the chair may not be real outside of my perception?

    Materialists seem to come down on the side of the chair being real regardless of what the person feels. I’m not sure that makes a lot of sense. Since our direct experience is our own sense and perception, shouldn’t we regard that as fundamental and view the material world as secondary?

  • cofty
    Materialists seem to come down on the side of the chair being real regardless of what the person feels. I’m not sure that makes a lot of sense.

    Rational people seem to come down on the side of the chair being real. I'm certain that makes a lot of sense.

  • slimboyfat

    But does it really?

    I know for sure that I feel the sensation of a chair because I feel that sensation directly. I can see the chair, touch it, or sit on it. All these sensations I can vouch for personally. But as for the physical reality of the chair, I’m pretty confident about that too, but it is one step removed from my direct experience inasmuch as I am not myself the chair. I only sense the existence of the chair secondhand, whereas I experience my own existence first hand. So should I be more confident about my own existence as a conscious being or about the existence of the chair as a physical reality? Surely my own consciousness takes priority.

    Dennett seems to say we should be sure about the existence of the chair, but our own consciousness is a kind of delusion. But this kind of materialism is self defeating since it is only through our conscious experience that we know anything about the physical world in the first place. If we doubt our consciousness then how can we know anything about the physical world?

  • cofty

    okay. So?

  • Ex-JWs Brazil
    Ex-JWs Brazil

    The body is the actuality and the soul is the potentiality.

    So there's a correlation between the body and the soul.

    The cause of the body is the soul. Souls can only function without a body if they are separated by death.

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