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Fri Dec 18, 2020, 03:22 PM

New York Times opinion article, "What is Death?"

What Is Death?

It's a long article but one claim that stands out to me, and which does a fair job of summing up the author's view, is this:

We do have fuller ways of knowing [beside science]. Who doubts that imagination and intuition and love hold power and capacity beyond what language can describe?

That article is rich in claims worthy of a rational person's criticism.

But to answer the author's question, death is nonexistence like before you were born.

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Response to Towlie (Original post)

Fri Dec 18, 2020, 04:04 PM

1. "death is nonexistence like before you were born. "

Great article and a long read.. For me we were, am and will always be stardust... Fortunate to have a consciousness sandwiched between the before and after...

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Response to mitch96 (Reply #1)

Fri Dec 18, 2020, 10:33 PM

3. Saw a great answer to the question "Aren't you afraid you'll burn in hell?"

asked of an Atheist;

Well, since all that I am spent the vast majority of the time before I came into existence inside a star, I can't imagine Hell would be much different."

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Response to Towlie (Original post)

Fri Dec 18, 2020, 06:04 PM

2. From experience... there is no nonexistence except before soul creation and we all existed before

We were born. Not trying to change anyone's mind.

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Response to Karadeniz (Reply #2)

Sat Dec 19, 2020, 02:03 PM

4. There is no such thing as a "soul".

 


An imaginary debate:

Me: "If your body got a heart transplant then you'd have a new heart, right?"

Answer: "Right."

Me: "If your body got a liver transplant then you'd have a new liver, right?"

Answer: "Right."

Me: "If your body got a kidney transplant then you'd have a new kidney, right?"

Answer: "Right."

Me: "If your body got a brain transplant then you'd have a new brain, right?"

Answer: "Uh..."

Me: "No, you wouldn't have a new brain, would you? Someone else would have a new body, wouldn't they?"

Answer: "Uh... Yeah, I guess you're right."

Me: "So if there were such a thing as a soul then it would have to reside somewhere in the brain, right?"

(no answer)

Me: "Where in the brain does the soul reside? People sometimes suffer brain damage. What part of the brain would have to be damaged to cause soul damage? Or does the soul occupy the entire brain? If so, what effects do different type of brain damage have on the soul? What parts of the soul are lost when various parts of the brain are damaged?"

(no answer)

Me: "There is no such thing as a soul. You are your brain and your brain is a sort of 'meat computer'. As Epicurus luckily guessed a few centuries before Jesus was born and way before the science of neurology was born, 'Non fui, fui, non-sum, non-curo' ('I was not; I was; I am not; I care not')."

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Response to Towlie (Reply #4)

Sat Dec 19, 2020, 05:10 PM

5. That's strange... I've seen mine and sent my mind elsewhere. Just the once. If it weren't for that

Experience, I'm sure I'd be very skeptical... But then, that experience led me to read lots of research and it all conforms to what I learned that time. It doesn't matter...

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Response to Towlie (Original post)

Sat Dec 19, 2020, 07:28 PM

6. Religion doesn't thrive because death is hard to understand, but because it's hard to accept.

Death is simple. Acceptance of it isn't.

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Response to enki23 (Reply #6)

Sat Dec 19, 2020, 10:09 PM

7. Fear of death is an evolved instinct that's inevitable, considering how natural selection works.

 


With the exception of some insects that live in colonies with queens, all animal species instinctively avoid death because individuals that do are more likely than individuals that don't to stay alive and reproduce. (I figure that insect queens have evolved to produce offspring that will die for them, but I've never found confirmation of that.)

That's why death is hard to accept, and why people crave the comfort of believing they have an immortal "soul". It's an attempt to reconcile intelligent understanding of nature with instinctive feelings and reactions that are the result of natural selection.

There's an anesthetic called propofol that has made me feel like I've traveled through time. I open my eyes without remembering having closed them, and everyone is gone but one nurse waiting for me to wake up. It feels very different from sleep. If you ask me what the experience is like being under the influence of propofol, I'd have to say that there is no such experience.

I believe death is the same except without waking up. It makes no sense to wonder what the experience of being dead is like because there is no such experience. Non fui, fui, non-sum, non-curo.

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Response to Towlie (Original post)

Mon Feb 1, 2021, 05:01 PM

8. I have had people visit me after they died and as an

atheist/agnostic, I feel that we have an after life. maybe just a short one, but not connected to a god. Maybe just connected to us.

Ps, before you ask, my biological father who I never knew, visited me about 20 some years after he died, and my daughter sitting on my lap saw him, looked at him in the face and they smiled at each other. I only knew it was him after looking things up and asking a relative a question about him.
My stepfather visited me and asked questions about things my mother told him when I was a teen.
I have had 3 cats come back to me after death.
I don't see them, I feel them.

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