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left-of-center2012

(34,195 posts)
Sun Oct 2, 2016, 09:20 AM Oct 2016

"Proof" (?) of an afterlife

I was raised as a Methodist and converted to Buddhism 20 years ago.
I've read numerous books on 'near death experiences', reincarnation, etc.
At 70 years old, and in poor health, I am still seeking evidence of an existence beyond this one.

I know we believe on 'faith', but what is the best 'evidence' of an afterlife?
Thanks

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"Proof" (?) of an afterlife (Original Post) left-of-center2012 Oct 2016 OP
It's purely a matter of faith grubbs Oct 2016 #1
None, as far as I've ever seen. nt SusanCalvin Oct 2016 #2
There is no material evidence. We are left with Thomas. rug Oct 2016 #3
Doubting Thomas? beveeheart Oct 2016 #6
One and the same. rug Oct 2016 #8
The only thing that lives on is the good you do for others Moostache Oct 2016 #4
Plato and Sirach affirmed that. Brettongarcia Oct 2016 #23
There is much we don't know. pipoman Oct 2016 #5
We are here now. In what may be an infinite universe of infinite possibilities, Doodley Oct 2016 #7
That's essentially what I'm going to write. cpwm17 Oct 2016 #10
Thanks for the reply. I agree that is possible, but if it is inevitable we will return, is it also Doodley Oct 2016 #14
I've wondered about that. cpwm17 Oct 2016 #22
I agree that the chances of our existence seems to be so tiny that it appears Doodley Oct 2016 #53
And the chances of getting the correct number on all 100 roles of dice would be far greater cpwm17 Oct 2016 #57
You keep trying to put the burden of proof on others for disproving your reincarnation theory Major Nikon Oct 2016 #91
Throughout history cpwm17 Oct 2016 #92
I'm not sure how this helps your argument Major Nikon Oct 2016 #95
Ain't any. Iggo Oct 2016 #9
Zero evidence of afterlife. Bernardo de La Paz Oct 2016 #11
Also looking up to see the white operating table lights Brettongarcia Oct 2016 #86
Much as I'd like to live on forever after I die, writing a book just seems like too much work. stone space Oct 2016 #12
All reward and punishment in the afterlife is conveniently unverifyable Major Nikon Oct 2016 #13
It is only unverifiable if we cannot confirm that we are not already in an afterlife. Doodley Oct 2016 #15
Even then it's still unverifiable because you can't confirm the after-afterlife Major Nikon Oct 2016 #16
No you can't, but can you confirm that our existence now is life or the afterlife? Doodley Oct 2016 #34
Yes Major Nikon Oct 2016 #37
Please point me to the evidence. Doodley Oct 2016 #44
Cogito ergo sum Major Nikon Oct 2016 #45
You made a claim that a particular conscious-self can't ever reapear. cpwm17 Oct 2016 #46
No, I did not Major Nikon Oct 2016 #47
I won't bet my life on in particular reality cpwm17 Oct 2016 #48
Your reasoning process appears to rely heavily on the nonsequitur. Major Nikon Oct 2016 #49
The question still remains unanswered. Doodley Oct 2016 #54
I already have Major Nikon Oct 2016 #56
I use a similar argument against the requirement to prove the negative cpwm17 Oct 2016 #58
Your assumption is just as far fetched Major Nikon Oct 2016 #59
You haven't made any logical arguments against the possibility of conscious minds returning. cpwm17 Oct 2016 #61
I feel no obligation to disprove something that was never proven to begin with. YMMV. Major Nikon Oct 2016 #63
I guess my multiple lines of reasoning will all remain unchallenged. cpwm17 Oct 2016 #64
Honestly I didn't think it was even worthy of as much effort Major Nikon Oct 2016 #65
Science works because there are repeatable patterns in nature. cpwm17 Oct 2016 #66
As far as I can tell you are simply replacing "soul" with "conscious-self" Major Nikon Oct 2016 #67
Conscious self is just another name for conscious mind. cpwm17 Oct 2016 #68
And yet you proceed to compare it to other processes in nature as if it were a thing Major Nikon Oct 2016 #69
To me, the belief that a particular self can't return is cpwm17 Oct 2016 #70
Belief in the supernatural requires the suspension of reason Major Nikon Oct 2016 #71
I don't believe in the supernatural at all. cpwm17 Oct 2016 #73
And yet you are claiming your "conscious-self" not only can but has transcended your physical being Major Nikon Oct 2016 #74
I have no evidence that my conscious-self is attach to any particular atoms in my body cpwm17 Oct 2016 #75
You acknowledge "conscious-self" isn't a thing, yet base your premise on its transposition Major Nikon Oct 2016 #78
I addressed the teapot above. cpwm17 Oct 2016 #80
You are getting harder to understand with each post Major Nikon Oct 2016 #83
Is there a distinct you that is separate from somebody else? cpwm17 Oct 2016 #88
There's lots of things which differentiate me from everyone else Major Nikon Oct 2016 #90
Russell's Teapot doesn't apply here and doesn't help your position at all. cpwm17 Oct 2016 #93
I'm not claiming any position is the "default", which is where you are confused Major Nikon Oct 2016 #94
What is consciousness? We can build computers but know very little about the human Doodley Oct 2016 #85
Yes, we know so little about consciousness. cpwm17 Oct 2016 #89
Music isn't a "thing." It is neither only soundwaves or perception. Can it be transposed? Yes. Doodley Oct 2016 #84
Music IS a thing, and isn't a state of being Major Nikon Oct 2016 #87
Are you saying consciousness is not much different from being dead? Doodley Oct 2016 #96
No, and such nonsense is too ridiculous to be entertained Major Nikon Oct 2016 #97
You are the one who made the claim. I am just asking you can back-up your claim. Doodley Oct 2016 #60
My "claim" was that any mention of an afterlife is conveniently unverifiable Major Nikon Oct 2016 #62
I'm not demanding anything. I'm pointing out that we don't have a clue if Doodley Oct 2016 #50
If you really intended to be rhetorical about it... Major Nikon Oct 2016 #51
You're citing Descartes first step in the proof of God - for what reason? rug Oct 2016 #72
What are the properties of the afterlife? trotsky Oct 2016 #21
You wouldn't anymore than you'd recognize you are alive. Similarly, there is a theory that Doodley Oct 2016 #35
Completely unfalsifiable theories are fun to think about, trotsky Oct 2016 #36
Those that tend to dwell on such things... Major Nikon Oct 2016 #38
Yeah, well... trotsky Oct 2016 #39
The same with there being other universes. cpwm17 Oct 2016 #43
Afterlife Electron1 Oct 2016 #17
'Proof of Heaven' Author Has Now Been Thoroughly Debunked left-of-center2012 Oct 2016 #19
There is no evidence available except witness-accounts. DetlefK Oct 2016 #18
Witness accounts aren't evidence. Act_of_Reparation Oct 2016 #20
Your energy will live on ............ read The Shack Angry Dragon Oct 2016 #24
"read The Shack" left-of-center2012 Oct 2016 #25
Millions of people believe in an afterlife based on a fictional novel. trotsky Oct 2016 #33
my proof is in the first part............. I just suggested The Shack for your enjoyment Angry Dragon Oct 2016 #40
I believe there is... Mike Nelson Oct 2016 #26
Except reality. cleanhippie Oct 2016 #29
There is no proof because no one has ever made the return trip Warpy Oct 2016 #27
Well as a Buddhist Loki Liesmith Oct 2016 #28
no left-of-center2012 Oct 2016 #31
How does that square with the doctrines of Loki Liesmith Oct 2016 #32
Energy can neither be created nor destroyed; rather, it transforms from one form to another. still_one Oct 2016 #30
And? Goblinmonger Oct 2016 #41
Whatever the OP wants it to be. I will not project anything else still_one Oct 2016 #42
I really enjoyed Michael Newton's 2 books on this topic. Chemisse Oct 2016 #52
You haved lived and you will live again. Let it be so. The Wielding Truth Oct 2016 #55
Look into whathehell Oct 2016 #76
I am doubting NDEs (near death experiences) more and more Paula Sims Oct 2016 #77
Here is a web site you may want to visit awake Oct 2016 #79
You get a turn at life, when its over, someone else gets a shot Uben Oct 2016 #81
"Thousands of years and no proof of an afterlife" left-of-center2012 Oct 2016 #82
If you accept the premise of a Near Death Experience... brooklynite Oct 2016 #98

grubbs

(356 posts)
1. It's purely a matter of faith
Sun Oct 2, 2016, 09:28 AM
Oct 2016

There is no scientific evidence. It's all faith. So just grab hold of whatever eases your heart. Being true to yourself is what counts.

 

rug

(82,333 posts)
3. There is no material evidence. We are left with Thomas.
Sun Oct 2, 2016, 09:39 AM
Oct 2016
John 20:24-29

24 Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came.
25 So the other disciples said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nailmarks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
26 Now a week later his disciples were again inside and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, although the doors were locked, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.”
27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.”
28 Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
29 Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me?r Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”

Moostache

(9,895 posts)
4. The only thing that lives on is the good you do for others
Sun Oct 2, 2016, 09:52 AM
Oct 2016

Seriously, the memories you leave beh in ND in the minds of others carries on after your physical life has ended. The contributions, no matter how small or great, to the advancement of humanity live on as the body fades and the molecules that are "you" return to the universe as "them".

Do not fear tbis, embrace it. Savor each day, each encounter, eacheck person you meet and interact witb...for whilexample you can interact, you can make a difference and an impact that ripples I to actual eternity.

Brettongarcia

(2,262 posts)
23. Plato and Sirach affirmed that.
Tue Oct 4, 2016, 11:40 PM
Oct 2016

What lives on is our "name" or reputation or memory.

So make it a good one.

 

pipoman

(16,038 posts)
5. There is much we don't know.
Sun Oct 2, 2016, 10:07 AM
Oct 2016

The adventure of death....if nothing follows I am out nothing. I look for ways to positively impact others...a legacy is all any of us is promised....

Doodley

(8,964 posts)
7. We are here now. In what may be an infinite universe of infinite possibilities,
Sun Oct 2, 2016, 11:21 AM
Oct 2016

or a multiverse of infinite universes, why assume we will not be here again?

If something happens once, it will often happen again. Nature is filled with patterns of repetition.

 

cpwm17

(3,829 posts)
10. That's essentially what I'm going to write.
Sun Oct 2, 2016, 07:16 PM
Oct 2016

Our consciousness-selves with our current memories will be gone since our consciousness-selves are created by brain processes. Our brains disappear when we die.

But we will return to the exact same state after we die that we were in before we were born, so our chances of experiencing the same conscious-self again is exactly the same it was before we were born into our current bodies.

If someone thinks it is impossible to experience the same conscious-self again, then they think that nature somehow magically keeps track of which conscious-self has already existed to prevent a return. How would that work?

If the multiverse is infinite in time or size, our conscious-selves are guaranteed to return.

Doodley

(8,964 posts)
14. Thanks for the reply. I agree that is possible, but if it is inevitable we will return, is it also
Mon Oct 3, 2016, 10:09 PM
Oct 2016

inevitable that we are already here, simultaneously existing in another universe?

 

cpwm17

(3,829 posts)
22. I've wondered about that.
Tue Oct 4, 2016, 12:29 PM
Oct 2016

I suppose if a conscious mind experiences consciousness in another universe at the exact same moment that it is experiencing the same consciousness here, then it would not be the same consciousness. But then again, how can it be the same time in another universe as it is in our Universe. I don't think time works like that.

Since consciousness is a brain process, rather than a thing, I don't see how a conscious mind that existed in our Universe could not also exist in another Universe. It wouldn't have to obey the laws of physics. Even if our Universe were the only current Universe, a conscious mind could potentially reappear after death many trillions of light years away (assuming an infinite Universe) immediately after death. The speed of light would be no obstacle.

Similar to what you wrote above: if someone claims that it is impossible for a conscious mind to return again after its current body dies, even if time is infinite, then they are claiming that the conscious mind is impossible. Anything that is possible is guaranteed to happen an infinite number of times through infinite time, otherwise it's impossible. I know I'm not impossible.

I'll quote what I wrote a few years ago concerning this version of reincarnation and the extremely low odds that I could exist at this very moment if I only ever got one life:

Reincarnation and the Multiverse
http://www.democraticunderground.com/11355656

"When I was young I thought it interesting that I was alive at that moment. With only one life the odds were greatly against my existence at that or any particular time, considering how old our Universe is. During most of the life of our Universe I hadn't’t existed (as far as I knew). I hadn't’t yet thought about reincarnation.

Let’s say that our Universe is the only universe and time will soon end. With only our Universe and one life, someone’s chances of existing at a particular time (with a 75 year life span & our 13.8 billion year old Universe) are 1 in 13,800,000,000/75 = 1 in 184,000,000. Lotteries have much better odds than that.

But the odds get much worse. Our Universe will likely be around extremely far into the future, many times its current age – if not forever. Imagine an infinite time-line to the future representing all of time that will probably ever exist. Let's say that there is no reincarnation and we only get one life. What are the chances that I would be alive at a particular moment if I had only one life on the infinite time-line? It is zero, since (one life time)/(total time Universe will exist) = finite#/infinity = infinitely small number = zero, which would be the odds of me living right now with only one life and our Universe exiting forever into the future.

So it would be impossible for me to be conscious right now if I only got one life and time is infinite. Since my consciousness existing right now is very important for my consciousness, my existence right now is the equivalent of me winning the lottery with zero odds of winning. So it seems with infinite time I must be reincarnated an infinite number of times for it to be possible for me to exist right now."

Doodley

(8,964 posts)
53. I agree that the chances of our existence seems to be so tiny that it appears
Sat Oct 8, 2016, 11:07 PM
Oct 2016

to be almost impossible. However, I think, therefore I am. Think about the tiniest of events that lead to you being who you are. A bee, ten thousand years ago, that caused an ancestor to walk in a slightly different direction and meet a partner who would also become your ancestor. There are billions of stories through time that led to you, from the quantum level to the molecular level, to the cosmos level, evolution, human society, human consciousness - there are so many factors that led to you being you right now that it seems almost impossible.

If I threw a dice a hundred times and wrote down each number. What would be the chances of getting all those numbers in that exact order? Pretty small before it happens. But after the event has happened we know that was the order of the numbers. There was no magic. There was nothing extraordinary. That is the way it happened. Can it happen again? Yes.

 

cpwm17

(3,829 posts)
57. And the chances of getting the correct number on all 100 roles of dice would be far greater
Sun Oct 9, 2016, 08:02 AM
Oct 2016

Last edited Sun Oct 9, 2016, 10:28 AM - Edit history (1)

than any particular human consciousness exiting now, given the common assumptions concerning what leads to each conscious-self.

This is from Richard Dawkins: http://old.richarddawkins.net/articles/91-to-live-at-all-is-miracle-enough

We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Arabia. Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton. We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively exceeds the set of actual people. In the teeth of these stupefying odds it is you and I, in our ordinariness, that are here.

Moralists and theologians place great weight upon the moment of conception, seeing it as the instant at which the soul comes into existence. If, like me, you are unmoved by such talk, you still must regard a particular instant, nine months before your birth, as the most decisive event in your personal fortunes. It is the moment at which your consciousness suddenly became trillions of times more foreseeable than it was a split second before....

The lottery starts before we are conceived. Your parents had to meet, and the conception of each was as improbable as your own. And so on back, through your four grandparents and eight great grandparents, back to where it doesn't bear thinking about....

...The odds of your century being the one in the spotlight are the same as the odds that a penny, tossed down at random, will land on a particular ant crawling somewhere along the road from New York to San Francisco. In other words, it is overwhelmingly probable that you are dead.

In spite of these odds, you will notice that you are, as a matter of fact, alive. People whom the spotlight has already passed over, and people whom the spotlight has not reached, are in no position to read a book....

...But we as individuals are still hugely blessed. Privileged, and not just privileged to enjoy our planet. More, we are granted the opportunity to understand why our eyes are open, and why they see what they do, in the short time before they close for ever.

Richard Dawkins assumes each potential conscious-self only gets one chance at life, and at almost impossibly low odds. And if you include the infinite time that has likely ever existed and likely will ever exist, our chances of existing now are exactly zero. (We don't know what is required to create each conscious-self, so Richard Dawkins is making a lot of assumptions.) There are so many low to zero probability events that must line up and be multiplied that it boggles the mind.

It takes a huge amount of faith to believe this version of reality. It's just like those that believe in a god. They have no problem believing that the starting point of all of existence, out of all imaginable starting points, is an invisible superhero. This invisible superhero would have purposeful design in the extreme. What are the odds that something like that could exist by chance?: zero. The math doesn't add up. But theists are stuck in their faith. Nothing can convince them they are wrong.

Nature doesn't make things in ones. It takes a huge amount of faith to believe otherwise. With infinite lives in an infinite multiverse, no faith is needed.

*Edit: I think the potentially extremely low odds of a particular conscious-self can existing (that you and Richard Dawkins write about) is good evidence of an infinite multiverse. I think you hinted at this above. That would certainly fix the math.

Major Nikon

(36,812 posts)
91. You keep trying to put the burden of proof on others for disproving your reincarnation theory
Mon Oct 10, 2016, 04:58 PM
Oct 2016

As hard as you keep trying it just isn't working. Dawkins makes a reasonable assumption because there's no reason to assume otherwise. You also assume your mathematical proof is rock solid even though it assumes infinite time and a finite universe both of which may not be correct. Just the idea that infinites can or must exist at all has been widely debated for centuries. Trying to make an absolute statement of fact that "Nature doesn't make things in ones." is quite specious. So if you want to talk about making assumptions, you might want to revisit some of your own.

 

cpwm17

(3,829 posts)
92. Throughout history
Tue Oct 11, 2016, 08:54 AM
Oct 2016

people have often made assumptions that what they know exists in nature is all there is in nature. When it can be proven otherwise, they are always proven wrong.

The Catholic Church took it too seriously:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giordano_Bruno

Giordano Bruno (Italian: [dʒorˈdano ˈbruno]; Latin: Iordanus Brunus Nolanus; 1548 – 17 February 1600), born Filippo Bruno, was an Italian Dominican friar, philosopher, mathematician, poet, and astrologer. He is remembered for his cosmological theories, which conceptually extended the then novel Copernican model. He proposed that the stars were just distant suns surrounded by their own exoplanets and raised the possibility that these planets could even foster life of their own (a philosophical position known as cosmic pluralism). He also insisted that the universe is in fact infinite and could have no celestial body at its "center".

Beginning in 1593, Bruno was tried for heresy by the Roman Inquisition on charges including denial of several core Catholic doctrines, including eternal damnation, the Trinity, the divinity of Christ, the virginity of Mary, and transubstantiation. Bruno's pantheism was also a matter of grave concern. The Inquisition found him guilty, and he was burned at the stake in Rome's Campo de' Fiori in 1600.

What we know exists in Universe has gotten consistently larger. What we know is possible to exist has always been proven to here in great quantity. But based on the dogma of many, we should ignore silly issues concerning the possibilities of there being more beyond our know existence.

Giordano Bruno had no direct scientific evidence for a huge Universe, but he was using good logic and reasoning. He should have been listened to.

Until recently, a dominant view was that our Universe is all that there is and all of existence started at the Big Bang. That's nonsense that I have always found annoying. Fortunately that view is fading. Just because it's impossible, at least at present, to know what's beyond our Universe doesn't mean it's not reasonable to assume there's more.

I'm making reasonable assumptions concerning time and a greater existence beyond our own. From what I find reasonable assumptions, I have some logical reasoning why our current conscious experience isn't all there is.

I don't claim to have proof nor do I think any harm, such as hell, should come to those that think differently. I find the subject interesting since it touches on the nature of consciousness, which science finds very difficult to understand.

I think there is a good chance that our Universe is infinite in size. All evidence is that it is flat, which means space extends forever.

Nothing here is provable. I make what I consider reasonable points which lead me to think I have the preponderance of evidence. I have taken up the burden of providing evidence. That isn't the same as me making those with different opinions having the burden of proof.

Major Nikon

(36,812 posts)
95. I'm not sure how this helps your argument
Tue Oct 11, 2016, 11:48 AM
Oct 2016

You seem to be convinced your mathematical proof is a solid basis for claiming Hitchen is wrong, while making several assumptions which just aren't all that assumable. If the universe is infinite in size, as you suggest, then by the same reasoning there could also be an infinite number of variations in "nature" which makes your repeatability claim far more remote. It's entirely possible there is, always will be, and always has been just one earth and just one of you. So you are saying it's reasonable to assume this isn't true and going one step farther in the claim that there's some kind of nexus between your 'soul' residing in one time and place and another theoretically identical one.

Bernardo de La Paz

(48,414 posts)
11. Zero evidence of afterlife.
Mon Oct 3, 2016, 08:59 AM
Oct 2016

That stuff about going to white light and tunnels?

Hallucinations. Similar experiences can be induced by application of strong magnetic fields to the temporal lobes and of course by some drug trips.

 

stone space

(6,498 posts)
12. Much as I'd like to live on forever after I die, writing a book just seems like too much work.
Mon Oct 3, 2016, 09:54 AM
Oct 2016


I'll have to pass on life after death.

I'm just too damn lazy!

Major Nikon

(36,812 posts)
13. All reward and punishment in the afterlife is conveniently unverifyable
Mon Oct 3, 2016, 07:50 PM
Oct 2016

Kinda funny how that works. Religious leaders get to carrot and stick everyone into submission without any real carrot and stick.

Major Nikon

(36,812 posts)
45. Cogito ergo sum
Fri Oct 7, 2016, 09:51 PM
Oct 2016

I must say I am always amazed at those who demand proof to disprove something they never even attempted to prove to begin with.

 

cpwm17

(3,829 posts)
46. You made a claim that a particular conscious-self can't ever reapear.
Sat Oct 8, 2016, 10:06 AM
Oct 2016

If I were to scientifically verify that something is possible once, I have verified that it is possible any number of times. That's why science works.

If stuff happened in only ones, science won't work. That's the world operated by the whims of a god. There is no evidence for any god.

Consciousness is a natural process. It's not knowable how a brain can make consciousness, but all evidence is that it is created by brain processes.

When we die we are in exactly the same state we were in before we were born. In an infinite universe or multiverse in time or size, anything that is possible will happen an infinite number of times. Since there is no evidence for any dying soul, we are likely to return with the same consciousness in a different body.

Major Nikon

(36,812 posts)
47. No, I did not
Sat Oct 8, 2016, 10:13 AM
Oct 2016

My actual claim was that such things are unverifiable, which is quite convenient for some as it allows them to fill in the blanks with pure speculation just as you have done. You would have been more correct to say there's no evidence for any soul, period. As someone else pointed out, such things are little more than fodder for mental masturbation exercises.

 

cpwm17

(3,829 posts)
48. I won't bet my life on in particular reality
Sat Oct 8, 2016, 12:09 PM
Oct 2016

but I think there is a great reason to believe our conscious-selves will return. I use a few lines of reasoning to reach the same conclusion.

Usually it is right-wing wet-blanket religious types that get upset about such speculations. I grew up around that. Issues like these I find most interesting, as long as the speculations are backed up with actual reason.


To this question: "No you can't, but can you confirm that our existence now is life or the afterlife?"

You answered: "Yes"

I interpreted that to be a statement of knowledge. Perhaps I misunderstood.

Major Nikon

(36,812 posts)
49. Your reasoning process appears to rely heavily on the nonsequitur.
Sat Oct 8, 2016, 04:27 PM
Oct 2016
To this question: "No you can't, but can you confirm that our existence now is life or the afterlife?"

You answered: "Yes"


Ergo:

You made a claim that a particular conscious-self can't ever reapear.


Doodley

(8,964 posts)
54. The question still remains unanswered.
Sat Oct 8, 2016, 11:12 PM
Oct 2016

If you claim you can confirm that our existence now is life or afterlife, please provide the evidence that you can confirm that.

Major Nikon

(36,812 posts)
56. I already have
Sun Oct 9, 2016, 04:34 AM
Oct 2016

Yet still you insist on demanding incessantly requesting evidence to disprove something you never even attempted to prove to begin with.

For further reading see...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell%27s_teapot

 

cpwm17

(3,829 posts)
58. I use a similar argument against the requirement to prove the negative
Sun Oct 9, 2016, 08:43 AM
Oct 2016

concerning the existence of a god: it's not up to me to prove the negative that a basketball is orbiting Pluto. It's a crazy claim in the first place (it's not a natural object and there's no way it could have gotten there, at least until recently) and it's not possible to prove the negative. But there is good reason to assume the negative.

Likewise, minds are products of physical brains and millions of years of evolution. Minds live in the natural world and don't have superpowers, like a god. An existing god is a far-fetched low-probability event. No one needs to prove the negative for god. No god is the default.

I assume a conscious mind is natural. A conscious mind only being able to exist once would not be natural, if we judge the conscious mind like other natural events. That's how nature works, at least for those things that can be proven. A conscious mind has some difference than other natural processes that behave like they are natural - that is, events that happen with repeatable patterns. But from everything we know about nature, if consciousness is natural, then consciousness needs to act like it's natural and not have limits on how many times it can appear.

Just like the low to zero probability event where all of existence starts with a god, it is a zero probability event for my conscious-self to exist now in all of infinite time if I only got one life. It takes a lot of faith to believe, or even think reasonable, either of these versions of reality.

Major Nikon

(36,812 posts)
59. Your assumption is just as far fetched
Sun Oct 9, 2016, 10:52 AM
Oct 2016

Arguably less so. At least the sky daddy assumption serves to explain the unexplained, but regardless of how you look at it the evidence for both is exactly zero.

 

cpwm17

(3,829 posts)
61. You haven't made any logical arguments against the possibility of conscious minds returning.
Sun Oct 9, 2016, 01:20 PM
Oct 2016

It seems you are relying on faith.

I have presented multiple lines of evidence for returning conscious-selves. Despite what you claim now, you seemed to deny the possibility above.

Major Nikon

(36,812 posts)
63. I feel no obligation to disprove something that was never proven to begin with. YMMV.
Sun Oct 9, 2016, 01:37 PM
Oct 2016

You have presented no evidence other than very weak assumptions, which IMO are even weaker than the assumption of an invisible sky daddy. Whatever you think I "seemed" to imply is patently false. I didn't say you were wrong, I just rejected your argument which is not at all the same thing.

Major Nikon

(36,812 posts)
65. Honestly I didn't think it was even worthy of as much effort
Sun Oct 9, 2016, 01:53 PM
Oct 2016

I get that this makes perfect sense to you, and I'm still not claiming you are wrong, but I'll be damned if I can make heads or tails of it. You are making very abstract claims built on even more abstract claims and calling that "evidence". There's really nothing at all that's original about it. You can find the same basic reasoning in all sorts of religious philosophies, all of which have been challenged across literally multiple millennium, and yet still those who make such claims are no closer to presenting anything remotely resembling material evidence despite much better efforts.

I assume a conscious mind is natural. A conscious mind only being able to exist once would not be natural, if we judge the conscious mind like other natural events. That's how nature works, at least for those things that can be proven. A conscious mind has some difference than other natural processes that behave like they are natural - that is, events that happen with repeatable patterns. But from everything we know about nature, if consciousness is natural, then consciousness needs to act like it's natural and not have limits on how many times it can appear.
 

cpwm17

(3,829 posts)
66. Science works because there are repeatable patterns in nature.
Sun Oct 9, 2016, 02:30 PM
Oct 2016

That's why we can study physics, chemistry, and any other science.

An alternative would be nature acting by the whims of a god. In that case, a natural (really supernatural) event that has been proven to happen once may not be possible to happen again. That's not the world we live in.

Anything in nature that has been proven to be able happen once has been proven to be able to happen any number of times. A chemical reaction that works once will be repeatable.

A particular conscious-self is a product of nature. Our minds are not magic and there is no evidence for a soul. If whatever brain processes that create my current consciousness are ever duplicated in the future, my consciousness should return. There is no evidence of any separate entity that disappears and dies when my body dies and no records of my current conscious existence are kept anywhere in nature. My consciousness just shuts off, returning me to the exact same state I was in before I was alive.

Major Nikon

(36,812 posts)
67. As far as I can tell you are simply replacing "soul" with "conscious-self"
Sun Oct 9, 2016, 02:45 PM
Oct 2016

The basic assumption is still placing some kind of ethereal connotation to human sentience by pretending it "returns" provided every single parameter could somehow be duplicated. So no, there is not a standard in nature you can point to where such a situation exists. It's all completely speculative.

It's not that much different than when the creationists edited their material by replacing "Jesus" with "creator" and calling it "Intelligent Design" in order to skirt legal restrictions on forcing their theology in public schools. Same idea, different words.

 

cpwm17

(3,829 posts)
68. Conscious self is just another name for conscious mind.
Sun Oct 9, 2016, 02:56 PM
Oct 2016

It's not a thing. It's produced by processes in my brain.

Major Nikon

(36,812 posts)
69. And yet you proceed to compare it to other processes in nature as if it were a thing
Sun Oct 9, 2016, 03:05 PM
Oct 2016

There is simply nothing you can point to as evidence that your non-thing replicates itself. Meanwhile the motivation for such an idea is really no different than religionists who promote similar ideas out of an inherent human fear of what happens after everyone inevitably takes the big dirt nap. The simplest explanation is absolutely nothing, and there's really no evidence to suggest otherwise.

 

cpwm17

(3,829 posts)
70. To me, the belief that a particular self can't return is
Sun Oct 9, 2016, 03:18 PM
Oct 2016

closer to a belief in a soul than a belief that a conscious self can return.

It appears to be a belief that there is something that has been eliminated from future existence. I don't think that a consciousness-self is an actual thing and I see no reason that whatever brain processes that produce my current self can't be duplicated. If consciousness is more than brain processes, I don't know of any reasonable ideas that aren't supernatural.

Major Nikon

(36,812 posts)
71. Belief in the supernatural requires the suspension of reason
Sun Oct 9, 2016, 03:26 PM
Oct 2016

It's actually the central feature of belief. You are certainly free to believe whatever you want, but trying to claim material evidence for the supernatural is where such ideas rapidly become specious at best.

 

cpwm17

(3,829 posts)
73. I don't believe in the supernatural at all.
Sun Oct 9, 2016, 03:47 PM
Oct 2016

I'm a strong atheist. I have been for forty years, since I was about 15, despite growing up in a very religious family and being forced to attend church - what a horrible waste of time. I never believed at any age.

I'm just following the evidence. It is beyond belief that I can experience my self at this particular moment in the infinite time that has probably ever existed and will probably ever exist, but I never experienced my self before my current existence and can never experience this self ever again after I die. As I wrote above, it is mathematically impossible that this just so happens to be a moment where I can exist.

Major Nikon

(36,812 posts)
74. And yet you are claiming your "conscious-self" not only can but has transcended your physical being
Sun Oct 9, 2016, 04:02 PM
Oct 2016

All based not on actual evidence, but rather unfalsifiable claims. All of this is pretty much the exact same basis of almost all religion, and specifically isn't that much different than the Hindu religious philosophy of samsara, with the possible exception of trying weakly to invoke a vague notion of the study of mathematics as a basis for falsifiability.

 

cpwm17

(3,829 posts)
75. I have no evidence that my conscious-self is attach to any particular atoms in my body
Sun Oct 9, 2016, 04:26 PM
Oct 2016

or any particular neurons in my brain.

If it were possible to instantly replace every atom in your body with another identical atom, would you be the same person with the same conscious-self? I think yes. If you then instantly evaporate every atom in your body and then with a one second delay replace every atom, would you then be the same person? I think yes. How about doing the same thing except with an hour delay and then reconfigure the atoms in the house next door, would you then be the same person with the same conscious-self? I don’t see why not. As far as I know, consciousness isn't attached to any particular atoms and no separate soul disappears when consciousness shuts off.

When we sleep, consciousness shuts off. Do we have the same consciousness when we awake? It's really not provable either way, though we like to think so. How far can we take this and prevent an individual conscious-self from ever returning? Many people think it is when someone dies that their consciousness can't return. So they think that an individual consciousness-self is attached to a particular body or brain. I don't know why that should be.

Major Nikon

(36,812 posts)
78. You acknowledge "conscious-self" isn't a thing, yet base your premise on its transposition
Sun Oct 9, 2016, 04:43 PM
Oct 2016

...which can't very well happen if it isn't a thing. So your current tack seems to be self-contradictory.

It's also true we have no evidence Russell's Teapot doesn't exist. Lack of evidence of a contradiction isn't a good argument for something. I've pointed this out before, and you seem to be conveniently ignoring it as you insist on using exactly that as a basis for your idea. That which can be asserted without evidence can be just as easily dismissed without evidence.

 

cpwm17

(3,829 posts)
80. I addressed the teapot above.
Sun Oct 9, 2016, 05:06 PM
Oct 2016

You are the one that has a belief, without realizing it, that consciousness is a thing.

Nothing gets transported and there is nothing that requires continuity in time or place. When we die there is nothing that disappears, so in a future conscious existence there is nothing that needs to be transported. I see no reason that the lack of continuity between each appearance of a conscious-self should be a problem.

As I wrote previously, mathematics strongly indicates that I am not experiencing the only appearance of my conscious-self. Also, by my very conscious existence, I prove that my consciousness is naturally possible. In the infinite time in the future, everything that is possible will happen an infinite number of times. Only impossible things can't happen in the infinite future.

Major Nikon

(36,812 posts)
83. You are getting harder to understand with each post
Sun Oct 9, 2016, 06:09 PM
Oct 2016

If you addressed Russell's Teapot above, then it must have been in some sort of code that went unrecognized by me and I'm just not that interested in looking for it if you can't reference it again.

It should also be pointed out that whether or not you realize it, you are expressing a belief that consciousness is a thing. You've now done this in at least three different ways. You claim it can be transposed, albeit hypothetically. You claim it is unique to your "self", and you claim it can make repeat appearances. All of these things attribute properties to the word "consciousness" which go well beyond merely a state of being. So it should be pointed out that when we are talking about "consciousness", I'm using the literate definition of that word while you appear to be attaching ethereal qualities which go far beyond the literal definition. I suspect that may be why you are getting confused and falsely asserting I claimed consciousness is a thing. You should understand we are talking about two different meanings of the word.

I get that your premise is purely for the sake of argument, but you are still forming the assumption that one's physical being (atoms) which are a thing, would exhibit the same properties as what you describe as a "conscious-self" during such hypothetical transposition. Non-things can't be transposed. You can't have it both ways. Either what you describe as a "conscious-self" is a thing or it isn't. If it isn't, which you claim, then the idea of it transposing is utterly meaningless and your argument fails right out of the gate without any further need of consideration. If it is a thing, which you appear to tacitly admit, then you are contradicting yourself and should probably decide which way you want to go with this.

You didn't write previously "mathematics strongly indicates" what you actually wrote was it was "mathematically impossible". Ignoring for a moment that you've failed to provide an actual mathematical proof of either assertion, one implies falsifiability, the other does not. So if you want to move the goalposts, that's fine, but don't change what you said and pretend what you are saying now is what I was arguing against. If you are now abandoning describing your premise as falsifiable, then I wouldn't contradict you by saying it isn't.

 

cpwm17

(3,829 posts)
88. Is there a distinct you that is separate from somebody else?
Mon Oct 10, 2016, 01:45 PM
Oct 2016

Last edited Tue Oct 11, 2016, 09:49 AM - Edit history (1)

What is it that makes you, you? Do you think you have a soul that makes your conscious-self you, or do you think your conscious-self is a brain process without a soul?

What is meant by I think therefore I am from René Descartes?:
“I think; therefore I am” was the end of the search Descartes conducted for a statement that could not be doubted. He found that he could not doubt that he himself existed, as he was the one doing the doubting in the first place. In Latin (the language in which Descartes wrote), the phrase is “Cogito, ergo sum.”

The I in “I think; therefore I am” is the conscious-self, and I know I exist as a conscious being. I have no doubt of this fact. I also know I am a distinct conscious being, separate from other conscious beings. The I that experiences my consciousness is not a thing. (*Edited this next line) The I is produced by my brain processes that create my consciousness.

When I became a conscious being, presumably in my mother's womb, nothing was transported to my brain to make me conscious. Nature doesn't need to transport anything to create consciousness. It's not part of the process, but yet I'm here.

Not that many years ago nature did just fine creating my consciousness. There is nothing inherent in this process, that I know of, that will prevent this exact same natural process from happening again. If you know of a reason that nature can't repeat the same process to create me again, you can tell me what it is.


Here's my math again. I'll also copy what I replied to Doodley:

"When I was young I thought it interesting that I was alive at that moment. With only one life the odds were greatly against my existence at that or any particular time, considering how old our Universe is. During most of the life of our Universe I hadn't’t existed (as far as I knew). I hadn't’t yet thought about there potentially being more than one life for each self.

Let’s say that our Universe is the only universe and time will soon end. With only our Universe and one life, someone’s chances of existing at a particular time (with a 75 year life span & our 13.8 billion year old Universe) are 1 in 13,800,000,000/75 = 1 in 184,000,000. Lotteries have much better odds than that.

But the odds get much worse. Our Universe will likely be around extremely far into the future, many times its current age – if not forever. Imagine an infinite time-line to the future representing all of time that will probably ever exist. Let's say that there is no reincarnation and we only get one life. What are the chances that I would be alive at a particular moment if I had only one life on the infinite time-line? It is zero, since (one life time)/(total time Universe will exist) = finite#/infinity = infinitely small number = zero, which would be the odds of me living right now with only one life and our Universe exiting forever into the future.

So it would be impossible for me to be conscious right now if I only got one life and time is infinite. Since my consciousness existing right now is very important for my consciousness, my existence right now is the equivalent of me winning the lottery with zero odds of winning. So it seems with infinite time I must be reincarnated an infinite number of times for it to be possible for me to exist right now."


So, out of the infinite time that probably has happened and probably will happen, it would be an impossible coincidence that this so happens to be my only chance at life. The math doesn't work. Something has to give. The simplest, and really only reasonable explanation, is that I am not limited to one life. I have to have an infinite number of lives through infinite time. That fixes the math.

It's impossible to absolutely prove the negative for Russell's Teapot. But Russell's Teapot is a far-fetched claim in the first place. Without proof, or at least good evidence, Russell's Teapot not existing is the default.

It's impossible to absolutely prove either way whether we only get one life. Unlike Russell's Teapot, consciousness is natural and my consciousness existing in my brain is expected. No one can explain why my consciousness can only exist in a brain one time. Unlike Russell's Teapot, which can't be explained, I can make an argument for multiple lives. You don't get to claim the default for single lives any more than I get to claim the default for multiple lives.

Major Nikon

(36,812 posts)
90. There's lots of things which differentiate me from everyone else
Mon Oct 10, 2016, 03:06 PM
Oct 2016

Physical properties like DNA are one of them, and physical changes and stored memories are another. I don't feel the need to invent some abstract concept of a soul to think of myself as unique. You use words like "conscious being" that just don't have that much different connotation than religious ideas of a soul. I am a being that happens to presently be in a state of consciousness. Eventually I'll become a being that happens to be in a state of death. For me it need not be anymore complicated.

Descartes isn't defining a "soul", he is defining the basis of knowledge which requires an assumption of a state of existence.

If you know of a reason that nature can't repeat the same process to create me again, you can tell me what it is.


Russell's Teapot says I feel no obligation to even try.

Regardless of whatever chances you think of some random person existing are, the chance of you in particular existing is pretty much 100% unless I'm incredibly high or in some other form of psychosis and just imagined you. Assuming this not to be the case and building on the fact that you're replying, I'd go one step farther and say your chance of being conscious is also 100%. To work off your lottery analogy, if you hold the ticket with the winning numbers, your chance of winning is 100%, not 5.7 e-11%. Now if you want to play the game of the monkey banging on a typewriter writing War and Peace, "you" might be physically identical to you, but you would be "reincarnated" in the same sense as a recycled ball bearing.

Russell's Teapot is intended to be far fetched. That's pretty much central to the whole point. Asserting that I'm claiming any "default" is strawman. I've already told you I never said you were wrong, just that I have no reason to believe you are right. You keep confusing those two things.

 

cpwm17

(3,829 posts)
93. Russell's Teapot doesn't apply here and doesn't help your position at all.
Tue Oct 11, 2016, 10:17 AM
Oct 2016

You use Russell's Teapot because you seem to think your position is the default. If it isn't, then don't use Russell's Teapot.

I made a logical point supporting my position. I ask you for a reason that nature can't do in the future, after I die, what nature is perfectly capable of doing now: creating my consciousness. Russell's Teapot is not an answer. If you don't know, say you don't know.

If we were to find a natural object orbiting the Sun, it would be reasonable to assume there are more of them around the Sun, or around other stars. That's how nature works. It is unreasonable to claim it is far-fetched for there to be more.

You are arguing against my position, so naturally I aim to support my position.

Major Nikon

(36,812 posts)
94. I'm not claiming any position is the "default", which is where you are confused
Tue Oct 11, 2016, 11:35 AM
Oct 2016

This is where your fallacy begins, but not where it ends. Arguing against a position does not require arguing for anything else. When you make an unfalsifiable claim and then demand someone else disprove what was never proven to begin with, then Russell's Teapot most certainly does apply. You are correct in that it doesn't help "my position", but that was never anything other than a misrepresentation to begin with. I've already told you I'm not arguing for a "default" so why you keep insisting I did seems a bit curious.

Doodley

(8,964 posts)
85. What is consciousness? We can build computers but know very little about the human
Sun Oct 9, 2016, 11:15 PM
Oct 2016

brain and human consciousness. We do not have a clue how such a complex system can develop from the initial joining of two single cells at conception. We don't have a clue how information is stored or retrieved in the human brain. We don't have a clue how innate knowledge is programmed into a brain. There is much we do not know. Should we be arrogant, as some are, and claim we do know? Or should we be open-minded, as you are, and imagine other possibilities? I say we should.

 

cpwm17

(3,829 posts)
89. Yes, we know so little about consciousness.
Mon Oct 10, 2016, 01:54 PM
Oct 2016

Science is making only a little progress on this subject. For a long time scientists even avoided the subject . I don't think it's even possible to know how a brain make consciousness.

As long as we try to use some reason, it is good to think outside the box. You are a rare person that seems to think along the same lines as me on this subject.

Major Nikon

(36,812 posts)
87. Music IS a thing, and isn't a state of being
Mon Oct 10, 2016, 06:39 AM
Oct 2016

Neither is it even remotely comparable to things that are a state of being.

You are getting farther away from the subject matter and are avoiding my point which was you are describing attributes to what you call "conscious-self" which I do not agree with. You are claiming it can be transposed from one physical being to another. You are claiming it is unique to an individual. You are claiming it must (or probably does?) reappear because of some vague reference to math. My idea of consciousness is just not that much different than any other state of being like awake, happy, sad, dead, alive, etc.

Doodley

(8,964 posts)
96. Are you saying consciousness is not much different from being dead?
Wed Oct 12, 2016, 08:14 AM
Oct 2016

You wrote: "My idea of consciousness is just not that much different than any other state of being like awake, happy, sad, dead, alive, etc."

You also wrote: "You are claiming it is unique to an individual."

Yes, I do believe we all have a unique consciousness. That is a view held by psychologists. Also psychologists hold the view that consciousness is different from the state of death.

Major Nikon

(36,812 posts)
97. No, and such nonsense is too ridiculous to be entertained
Wed Oct 12, 2016, 08:29 AM
Oct 2016

If you want to be that disingenuous, you can go it alone on that subject. It's as ridiculous as implying you are claiming to be the only one conscious and you think psychologists are agreeing with you.

For further reading see...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man

Major Nikon

(36,812 posts)
62. My "claim" was that any mention of an afterlife is conveniently unverifiable
Sun Oct 9, 2016, 01:32 PM
Oct 2016

Which actually wasn't a claim at all, but rather a retort to any claims made to such fanciful abstract speculation are unfalsifiable which means they are inherently fallacious. You simply doubled down on the fallacy by asserting that I can't prove we aren't already in a condition that was already unfalsifiable to begin with. Ergo your logic, if you can call it that, is really not fundamentally different than those who speculate about an invisible sky daddy and then assume the burden of proof lies with those who can't disprove such speculation.

My answer to your demand, yes demand as it's been no less than 4 times now by my count, was cogito ergo sum. Now I suspect you don't like that answer, but completely ignoring it by pretending I didn't back up my claim doesn't really do your unsupported assertion much favor.

Doodley

(8,964 posts)
50. I'm not demanding anything. I'm pointing out that we don't have a clue if
Sat Oct 8, 2016, 10:34 PM
Oct 2016

our perception of our own existence is correct. My quest was intended to be rhetorical. So keep cool!

Major Nikon

(36,812 posts)
51. If you really intended to be rhetorical about it...
Sat Oct 8, 2016, 10:44 PM
Oct 2016

then why not offer your own proof rather than demanding asking repeatedly for the concept to be disproved?

Doodley

(8,964 posts)
35. You wouldn't anymore than you'd recognize you are alive. Similarly, there is a theory that
Fri Oct 7, 2016, 09:14 AM
Oct 2016

we are a simulation, like a complex Sims game. How do we know if we are real or simulated? We don't.

trotsky

(49,533 posts)
36. Completely unfalsifiable theories are fun to think about,
Fri Oct 7, 2016, 09:16 AM
Oct 2016

but they're essentially just mental masturbation.

Major Nikon

(36,812 posts)
38. Those that tend to dwell on such things...
Fri Oct 7, 2016, 12:18 PM
Oct 2016

generally expect others to disprove something that was never proven to begin with, which also happens to be the shaky foundation of pretty much all religion.

 

cpwm17

(3,829 posts)
43. The same with there being other universes.
Fri Oct 7, 2016, 08:03 PM
Oct 2016

It's impossible to prove either way, but everything we know about nature strongly indicates that natural things don't come in ones. There are several reasons to strongly lean towards some form of a multiverse.

The same with a conscious-self existing an infinite number of times through infinite time. Consciousness is a natural process and nature doesn't keep records of which conscious-self has already existed, and there is no soul that dies.

Electron1

(5 posts)
17. Afterlife
Mon Oct 3, 2016, 11:08 PM
Oct 2016

I recommend the book Proof of Heaven by Eben Alexander. You might also find a Bahai Faith member in your area who can tell you about what Bahai scripture reveals.

left-of-center2012

(34,195 posts)
19. 'Proof of Heaven' Author Has Now Been Thoroughly Debunked
Tue Oct 4, 2016, 05:21 AM
Oct 2016

"A new Esquire feature pokes large holes in Eben Alexander's book about a coma that included a trip to heaven, bringing into question the author's qualification as a neurosurgeon (which is supposed to legitimize his claim) and the accuracy of his best-selling journey."

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2013/07/proof-heaven-author-debunked/313681/

Act_of_Reparation

(9,082 posts)
20. Witness accounts aren't evidence.
Tue Oct 4, 2016, 07:41 AM
Oct 2016

They're anecdotal, unverifiable stories that have in every instance failed to exclude other explanations for perceived after-death experiences.

trotsky

(49,533 posts)
33. Millions of people believe in an afterlife based on a fictional novel.
Fri Oct 7, 2016, 08:27 AM
Oct 2016

(Or a collection of fictional stories.)

Warpy

(110,588 posts)
27. There is no proof because no one has ever made the return trip
Thu Oct 6, 2016, 05:29 PM
Oct 2016

in a way that can't be chalked up to wishful thinking.

My mother was an Irish Catholic agnostic who believed firmly in reincarnation (Druids in our past, maybe). She always said she wanted to come back as a river otter because they looked like they were having a lot of fun and had few predators. Six months after she died, a blip on local news mentioned that river otters had been spotted in NM for the first time since the 1950s. Not sure if I buy it, but I did get a smile out of it.

I'm a very bad Buddhist, myself, since it's so hard to amass much compassion for people who are pig ignorant and proud uvvit. In fact, it's a struggle that starts off with "I'd rather see them than be them."

Reincarnation does make a certain amount of sense. Keeping our egos intact from life to life doesn't, since that like our personalities and memories, are a function of our brains and would die with them.

I'm old and my health sucks. I'll be glad to let go of this life. I have no idea what the next will bring.

Loki Liesmith

(4,602 posts)
32. How does that square with the doctrines of
Thu Oct 6, 2016, 07:05 PM
Oct 2016

anatman (no self) and sunyata (emptiness) (specifically talking madhyamika context here)

still_one

(91,583 posts)
30. Energy can neither be created nor destroyed; rather, it transforms from one form to another.
Thu Oct 6, 2016, 06:21 PM
Oct 2016

This is the Law of the conservation of energy

Einstein's famous equation, E=mc^2 says that energy and matter are two sides of the same coin.

 

Goblinmonger

(22,340 posts)
41. And?
Fri Oct 7, 2016, 03:22 PM
Oct 2016

When I die, my body and the energy in it becomes worm food.

I don't think the nitrogen in my body becoming grass is what is meant by an afterlife, but, if that makes you happy, have at it.

Chemisse

(30,779 posts)
52. I really enjoyed Michael Newton's 2 books on this topic.
Sat Oct 8, 2016, 10:51 PM
Oct 2016

Journey of Souls and the second (and better) book, Destiny of Souls are based on what people have said during regression hypnosis.

As a person of science, I question the validity of his techniques and results. But as a person who really wants to believe that we don't just vanish when we die, I am comforted by the picture of an afterlife that emerges from his work.

Paula Sims

(877 posts)
77. I am doubting NDEs (near death experiences) more and more
Sun Oct 9, 2016, 04:35 PM
Oct 2016

Not that they happen, but that's they're "other worldly".

I saw a documentary about a year ago where a British (?) scientist "died" and recorded his experiences using EEGs, PET scanners, etc. What he saw was nothing more than oxygen deprivation of the brain.

My own Mother died 5 months ago. The cause of death was sepsis after her intestines exploded and the infection was everywhere in her abdominal cavity. I saw her a day before her surgery (last time she was able to speak) and she talked about the beautiful garden she was seeing (she actually had a view of the HVAC of the hospital roof) and other things. I now believe it was the toxic poisons making her hallucinate.

So no, that's the bummer about science - it takes away the magic.

awake

(3,226 posts)
79. Here is a web site you may want to visit
Sun Oct 9, 2016, 05:01 PM
Oct 2016

WhenYouDie.org

Check out the video clip from Elly Claire Hart about her after death experience

http://whenyoudie.org/the-documentary/

Uben

(7,719 posts)
81. You get a turn at life, when its over, someone else gets a shot
Sun Oct 9, 2016, 05:23 PM
Oct 2016

If you want more than that, it'll be all on faith because once your gone, your gone. That's my view as a realist. Thousands of years and no proof of an afterlife, so.....

But, what if? There's always that.

left-of-center2012

(34,195 posts)
82. "Thousands of years and no proof of an afterlife"
Sun Oct 9, 2016, 05:56 PM
Oct 2016

Zillions of books,
hundreds of movies,
a million psychics,
and zip.

Oh well.

brooklynite

(93,309 posts)
98. If you accept the premise of a Near Death Experience...
Wed Oct 12, 2016, 01:15 PM
Oct 2016

...then you accept the premise that the essence (soul) of the person can experience their surroundings (sight, sound, etc.). In which case, why do they need human sensory organs?

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