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In reply to the discussion: "Proof" (?) of an afterlife [View all]


(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.
"Proof" (?) of an afterlife [View all] 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
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