Page 2 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast
Results 11 to 20 of 40

Thread: Death, Nothingness, and Subjectivity

  1. Top | #11
    Mazzie Daius fromderinside's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Oregon's westernmost
    Posts
    10,971
    Archived
    18,213
    Total Posts
    29,184
    Rep Power
    53
    Why do we keep the ocy? No way you're gong to make imaginary whiter. Considering life after death is for morons.

  2. Top | #12
    Formerly Joedad
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    PA USA
    Posts
    5,079
    Archived
    5,039
    Total Posts
    10,118
    Rep Power
    74
    One thing is not really arguable if we consider ourselves organisms like other organisms. And that is that we were all once dead, and will be again.

    Life is complex chemistry to varying degrees.

  3. Top | #13
    Mazzie Daius fromderinside's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Oregon's westernmost
    Posts
    10,971
    Archived
    18,213
    Total Posts
    29,184
    Rep Power
    53
    It's Opera time. "Die Tote Stadt". Thank you Wolfgang .... (Korngold).

  4. Top | #14
    Veteran Member PyramidHead's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    RI
    Posts
    4,203
    Archived
    4,389
    Total Posts
    8,592
    Rep Power
    57
    Man... would it be too much to ask for at least one of you to actually read the paper in the OP? I get that it's easier to reach into your bag of stock comments for stuff like this, but on the off chance that you're not right about everything, maybe it could be instructive to see what the guy who runs a site dedicated to scientific naturalism has to say about life after death before dismissing it as mystical nonsense.

  5. Top | #15
    Veteran Member skepticalbip's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Searching for reality along the long and winding road
    Posts
    4,934
    Archived
    12,976
    Total Posts
    17,910
    Rep Power
    62
    I read the article. Unfortunately, that is four or five minutes of my limited life that I will never get back. The reason it took that long is that I was trying to make sense of the basis of the musings presented.

    ETA:
    Can you give any possible reason (other than wishful thinking) to believe that consciousness continues after death? If you believe it does then do you believe that this consciousness existed long before birth or even the birth of our ancient predecessors? Do the consciousnesses of chimps, monkeys, dogs, cats, cows, wombats, etc. continue on?
    Last edited by skepticalbip; 10-01-2018 at 08:16 PM.

  6. Top | #16
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    seattle
    Posts
    4,857
    Rep Power
    12
    If believing in some continuation of life after the body dies improves the quality of your life and helps ally fear then good for you. I say the same thing to Christians.

    When my time comes I either will not end up knowing one way or the other because I will be dead, or I will be pleasantly surprised. Or I could end up with my ass on fire from exernal fiery hell.

    There used to be somebody who continually started threads on science claiming quantum physics proved life after death.

    Star Trek in all the TV incarnations explored possibilities of non corporeal intelligent life. Anything is possible. A self sustaining complex EM field of some sort. Some form of existence we can not see in our science is certainly possible but without any theoretical basis.

    It is what scifi thrives on.

    It is certainly a topic to pass the time with.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by skepticalbip View Post
    I read the article. Unfortunately, that is four or five minutes of my limited life that I will never get back. The reason it took that long is that I was trying to make sense of the basis of the musings presented.

    ETA:
    Can you give any possible reason (other than wishful thinking) to believe that consciousness continues after death? If you believe it does then do you believe that this consciousness existed long before birth or even the birth of our ancient predecessors? Do the consciousnesses of chimps, monkeys, dogs, cats, cows, wombats, etc. continue on?
    Some say the body is a cocoon of sorts that gives birth in a way to a spirit.

  7. Top | #17
    Veteran Member PyramidHead's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    RI
    Posts
    4,203
    Archived
    4,389
    Total Posts
    8,592
    Rep Power
    57
    Quote Originally Posted by skepticalbip View Post
    I read the article. Unfortunately, that is four or five minutes of my limited life that I will never get back. The reason it took that long is that I was trying to make sense of the basis of the musings presented.

    ETA:
    Can you give any possible reason (other than wishful thinking) to believe that consciousness continues after death? If you believe it does then do you believe that this consciousness existed long before birth or even the birth of our ancient predecessors? Do the consciousnesses of chimps, monkeys, dogs, cats, cows, wombats, etc. continue on?
    The gist of the article is that what is important for my survival is not the consciousness that is generated in any particular brain, including the one I call my own, but consciousness as such. As an example, he describes a situation in which he is placed into a coma and inflicted with total amnesia. When he awakens, the same brain that was providing his conscious experiences beforehand would be providing them again, but without any psychological connection to the prior state due to the total amnesia. He claims that this would be something that it is rational to anticipate happening before being placed in a coma; that is, HE should expect to wake up with no memories, rather than expecting to be annihilated forever and replaced by a "brand new" consciousness with no memories. By this reasoning, survival is not a matter of psychological connectedness to prior states.

    His next move is to show that the only remaining candidate for a carrier of my survival, physical integrity, also fails to play the required role. For one thing, it is obvious that an experience is either fully my own or not mine at all; there may be gradients of intensity, dim experiences and vivid ones, but regardless of their magnitude, they are either FULLY happening to me or FULLY not happening to me. But the physical identity of an individual brain is plastic and constantly changing. It can be replaced piecemeal, duplicated, and combined with other parts until its original state is diluted into noise. There is no way to resolve what will become of "me", in terms of my survival as something that has experiences, if in addition to my total amnesia I am also physically altered during the coma. If the alteration is slight, I should still expect to awaken as myself, but as before I would be very confused, lacking any memory to associate with my current situation due to the amnesia.

    But if one small change is permitted, then a succession of small changes must be permitted, otherwise we would have to imply a threshold of different-ness that would, in a flash, erase me from existence and replace me with a different consciousness altogether. This not only sounds a lot like dualism, but it seems totally arbitrary, like deciding at which specific number of hairs a person becomes bald. Baldness, like physical integrity, lies on a spectrum, but my subjective experience as a mind is all-or-nothing. So, it stands to reason that if I can expect to be the unfortunate person who awakens with total amnesia after being placed into a coma, I should also expect to be the person who awakens with even a radically altered physical makeup.

    But if that's true, then what is special about the coma scenario compared to a scenario in which I never wake up from the coma, but a person with exactly the physical makeup I would have been given wakes up instead? Why should I rationally anticipate only the experiences arising from the fuzzily-defined object I call my own body, when a functionally identical one should present no barrier to the continuation of my subjective experience? If we are serious about naturalism, and do not immediately object that something would have to "jump" from one body to the next, we arrive at the conclusion that any person who is awakened after I slip into a coma has everything it takes to extend my own survival, as a consequence of the binary nature of subjectivity compared with the granularity of physical integrity and memory.

  8. Top | #18
    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Chochenyo Territory, US
    Posts
    2,336
    Rep Power
    9
    Quote Originally Posted by skepticalbip View Post
    "Life after death" is simply a meaningless oxymoron.

    We all already know what death is like because it is exactly the state before we were conceived. Death is a state of nonexistence.

    Spiritual and religious claims and ideas about survival of consciousness is the result of nothing more than a desire to continue - wish fulfillment
    Wait, so are you claiming that you didn't exist before your first memories? How can you know anything about what it was like before you were conceived, when your first memories begin years after that point. I see no reason to assume you understand pre-life any better than early life.

  9. Top | #19
    Fair dinkum thinkum bilby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    The Sunshine State: The one with Crocs, not Gators
    Posts
    21,553
    Archived
    10,477
    Total Posts
    32,030
    Rep Power
    82
    Memories are the self, and the self is memories. If you are placed in a coma and wake with complete amnesia, then you died, and the person who woke is a new person, who just happens to be using the same body and brain as his support system that you once used.

    Consciousness is simply immediate term memory. To discuss the 'self' in the context of complete amnesia is meaningless.

  10. Top | #20
    Veteran Member PyramidHead's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    RI
    Posts
    4,203
    Archived
    4,389
    Total Posts
    8,592
    Rep Power
    57
    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post
    Memories are the self, and the self is memories. If you are placed in a coma and wake with complete amnesia, then you died, and the person who woke is a new person, who just happens to be using the same body and brain as his support system that you once used.

    Consciousness is simply immediate term memory. To discuss the 'self' in the context of complete amnesia is meaningless.
    That's one option to take, but it strikes me as counterintuitive when you deconstruct it. What about cases of memory loss that is reversed? When previously forgotten memories resurface or are otherwise restored, does their restoration make them my memories, when beforehand they were those of "a new person"? What happens to this other person when my memories return and are re-integrated into my own consciousness? I think it's more straightforwardly coherent to instead say that remembering what was once forgotten reveals them as having always been my memories, my experiences when they occurred.

    Another way to argue this is to think of the following prospect: tomorrow, I will administer a drug to you, bilby, that will give you total amnesia for a temporary period of time. During that time, I will perform unspeakable torture on your body (or the body of this "new person" you refer to). When I'm done, the effects of the drug will wear off, and all memory of the torture will fade with the drug as it leaves your system. Assume no lasting physical damage will be recorded as aches or scars--if you like, it would be a direct cranial stimulation of your pain receptors.

    If you're right, you should regard this proposal as an unfortunate occurrence for that "new person", in the same way you'd view the news of a torture victim being found in some person's basement. Poor guy, but better him than me, right? Somehow, I don't think you'd feel this way about the situation, though. You would look upon the next 48 hours with the dread of being he who undergoes first the disorienting confusion of memory loss followed by the agony of torture, and knowing that both experiences would in a sense be isolated from your current self due to the lack of memory connections would not remove this feeling of anticipation. Am I wrong?

Similar Threads

  1. Death by Emu
    By T.G.G. Moogly in forum Natural Science
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 04-15-2019, 06:59 PM
  2. Psychological death
    By no-one-particular in forum General Religion
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 03-09-2019, 04:04 PM
  3. Replies: 43
    Last Post: 12-15-2018, 11:56 AM
  4. Death of the old elites
    By DrZoidberg in forum Political Discussions
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 11-17-2018, 01:01 AM
  5. Is This the Death of Europe?
    By maxparrish in forum Political Discussions
    Replies: 123
    Last Post: 10-04-2015, 01:49 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •