Does the afterlife exist at all? Debate that here.

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deschainXIX
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Re: Does the afterlife exist at all? Debate that here.

Postby deschainXIX » 08 Aug 2013 22:01

Exactly my point, AceOfSpades. Also, it means that our consciousness can leave our body completely, meaning that when our physical bodies die, our consciousness continues to exist by itself. So that brings up the question, "where does the consciousness go?" There has to be some sort of afterlife or SOMEPLACE that we go.

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Well said.

AceOfSpades
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Re: Does the afterlife exist at all? Debate that here.

Postby AceOfSpades » 09 Aug 2013 01:28

It's pretty much the snow ball effect. If you can AP you are in the astral plane which is pretty much another world that overlaps this world. The only difference being that only astral beings and other entities can see you, but not most humans in the human world. If you can go into one world. What's to say there are not other worlds. Maybe you could even catch a glimpse of the afterlife, given the chance.

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Summerlander
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Re: Does the afterlife exist at all? Debate that here.

Postby Summerlander » 09 Aug 2013 13:43

deschainXIX wrote:If you believe in astral projection, you have to believe in at least some sort of after life.


I don't believe in astral projection. I believe in lucid dreaming as a product of a functional brain. We can't just say that at death consciousness has to go somewhere else when we haven't even defined consciousness in the first place.

Evidence suggests that consciousness is reportability in the brain and it is strongly interrelated with memory. The fact of the matter is, brain damage or malfunction can severely affect both. To me, it is crystal clear that at death consciousness ceases to be as the cerebral mechanism is no longer functional. In a similar vein, when a star dies, it ceases to give off heat and light. The star no longer exists.
"Empty cognizance of one taste, suffused with knowing, is your unmistaken nature, the uncontrived original state. when not altering what is, allow it to be as it is, and the awakened state is right now spontaneously present."

- Padmasambhava

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deschainXIX
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Re: Does the afterlife exist at all? Debate that here.

Postby deschainXIX » 09 Aug 2013 14:51

Good point. I guess it all files down to personal belief, then. Until further scientific discovery is developed. Psychology is still such a shady realm of study, when we're not even entirely sure what exactly consciousness IS.
I think that the final frontier will indeed be our own minds.
Well said.

AceOfSpades
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Re: Does the afterlife exist at all? Debate that here.

Postby AceOfSpades » 09 Aug 2013 15:15

Summerlander wrote:
deschainXIX wrote:If you believe in astral projection, you have to believe in at least some sort of after life.


I don't believe in astral projection. I believe in lucid dreaming as a product of a functional brain. We can't just say that at death consciousness has to go somewhere else when we haven't even defined consciousness in the first place.

Evidence suggests that consciousness is reportability in the brain and it is strongly interrelated with memory. The fact of the matter is, brain damage or malfunction can severely affect both. To me, it is crystal clear that at death consciousness ceases to be as the cerebral mechanism is no longer functional. In a similar vein, when a star dies, it ceases to give off heat and light. The star no longer exists.


No offense but you make it sound like it's a good thing and to be honest that kinda pisses me off. There is more to death than just rotting in a box or collecting dust in an urn.

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Summerlander
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Re: Does the afterlife exist at all? Debate that here.

Postby Summerlander » 09 Aug 2013 21:38

Two questions:

1) What exactly upsets you?
2) You seem certain that death is more than just "rotting in a box," what makes you so certain?
"Empty cognizance of one taste, suffused with knowing, is your unmistaken nature, the uncontrived original state. when not altering what is, allow it to be as it is, and the awakened state is right now spontaneously present."

- Padmasambhava

AceOfSpades
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Re: Does the afterlife exist at all? Debate that here.

Postby AceOfSpades » 09 Aug 2013 22:31

1) If death is nothing more than Rotting in a box then what is the point of dying in the first place. Yes we all die, through natural causes, murder, disease, accidents. But if all that leads to nothing more than letting you consciousness fade more and more until you fade out of existence then why, why the flying fuck do we need to live in the first place. Why do we need to impact others when we could just sit around, do nothing and wait for it to happen. Yet many skeptics act like they are doing us all a favor by saiyng "Sorry, but nothing happens after you die, you just wait for the worms to eat you." Yet despite all that there is the never ending counterquestion of it all "How do you know, you didn't die." Which they tapdance every time it's act That's what upsets me. If there is nothing after death then what is the point of living in the first place?

2) I lost a lot of people close to me over the years and despite what people otherwise say, I can still feel small signs of their presence. Based on stuff they did or talked about in life. To take it a giant step one person I knew cheated death and since then took the steps to improve their personal life.

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Summerlander
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Re: Does the afterlife exist at all? Debate that here.

Postby Summerlander » 10 Aug 2013 00:28

AceOfSpades wrote:1) If death is nothing more than Rotting in a box then what is the point of dying in the first place. Yes we all die, through natural causes, murder, disease, accidents. But if all that leads to nothing more than letting you consciousness fade more and more until you fade out of existence then why, why the flying fuck do we need to live in the first place.


I know what you mean. But the evidence weighs in favour of a meaningless, godless universe. There can be meaning in life, if you want it to, but the meaning that we may ascribe to things and life in general is subjective and illusory.

Have you ever seen that Woody Allen film called "Hannah and Her Sisters?" Woody's character searches for meaning and, in the end, despite being uncertain and all evidence pointing to a godless universe, he ends up in a cinema and as he watches a film he realises that life is short and even if it's objectively meaningless he wants to make the most of it. This makes the notion of suicide seem silly to him. Make the most of your conscious experience while it lasts. Despite the suffering, we are privileged to have been born in a world that is so rich.

Still, compared to the cosmic eternity, our lives are nothing but a temporal flash. As egotistical sentient beings, the truism of our insignificance is frightening.

AceOfSpades wrote:Why do we need to impact others when we could just sit around, do nothing and wait for it to happen.


Sitting around waiting for something to happen is something which is extremely difficult to do for most of us. We'd soon get bored and we all depend on moving to survive. We need food, water, shelter, company, exercise etc. To not move and not interact with others would be a waste. It also contradicts our urges if you think about it. To not move for a long time would be painful.

AceOfSpades wrote:Yet many skeptics act like they are doing us all a favor by saiyng "Sorry, but nothing happens after you die, you just wait for the worms to eat you." Yet despite all that there is the never ending counterquestion of it all "How do you know, you didn't die." Which they tapdance every time it's act That's what upsets me. If there is nothing after death then what is the point of living in the first place?


It's not so much sceptics but scientists. It's not their job to lie in order to comfort people as this goes against what science stands for: evidence and reason. They have to brings us the news exactly like they are. What they say is not that there is no afterlife. They are saying that the evidence so far seems to rule it out. Neuroscience points out that everything about our minds, every mental faculty, is liable to be expunged via brain damage or malfunction.

A living person with a particular area of the brain damaged can lose the capacity to name animals and yet remember the names of tools. Someone with prosopagnosia will no longer be able to recognise faces. Damage another cerebral area and you lose the power to distinguish objects, the power of speech, the power to emote, to think properly, to remember and so on.

There was even a case of a woman who had her amygdala removed and she lost all sense of fear (which put her in danger). It all depends on what area you damage. A 40-year-old korsakoff's syndrome sufferer still believed he was 19 and in the army. When his doctor took him to see his reflection he was horrified, confused and became extremely distressed. The doctor took him away from the mirror to the window to see a group of children playing outside. He relaxed and perked up with a smile. The doctor walked out of the room for a moment and returned to be greeted by his patient like he was a stranger. All because the patient was unable to form new memories...

There is so much evidence that has been gathered in over a century of neuroscience that there isn't much hope for conscious experience after death. Chances are that we go back to the same state of non-existence that we were in prior to birth. If a living person can be so severely and cognitively impaired, even temporarily unconscious, what hope is there for an individual whose brain is completely destroyed? If a sufferer of visual prosopagnosia cannot recognise faces; if an agnosia sufferer has a blurred perception of objects; if a blind person, even, loses the power of vision due to an anatomical defect; if a living person can be comatose or in a vegetative state, what hope is there for us to consciously survive death, to retain all our senses, and be able to recognise our deceased loved ones?

And what about our perception of reality being severely distorted as psychotropic drugs invade and interact with our neurotransmitters?

You see where doubt and scepticism comes from? You see why I am sceptical and have a justified propensity for upholding the no-afterlife nihilism? Anyway, don't fret, it's not all bad if such nihilism turns out to be true. When we are dead we won't suffer, we won't even know it because there won't even be a self to do so. It'll be like life never happened. No memories, no experience, no consciousness. Total oblivion. I believe this to be the case until proved otherwise by scientific means (but I think this is unlikely). If you have something that concretely proves that there is an afterlife, I'm all ears. I mean it.

AceOfSpades wrote:2) I lost a lot of people close to me over the years and despite what people otherwise say, I can still feel small signs of their presence. Based on stuff they did or talked about in life. To take it a giant step one person I knew cheated death and since then took the steps to improve their personal life.


I understand. My stepfather killed himself when he found out that he was terminally ill. I was young and naive at the time and into "astral projection." I believed I could visit him and the experience was cognitively real. But my inquisitive mind and experimentation eventually made me realise that I was lucid dreaming* up his form which could be manipulated when I deliberately tried. I also started to delve into science. It made me a sceptic of what I was experiencing in that state. I won't believe in anything unless there is a good reason for me to do so. I think this is a healthy approach.

When I believed I was visiting my stepfather, I would also delude myself into believing that I could sense his presence while awake. But these sensations are subjective. The lucid dream version even told me how old he would have been on his birthday, which was correct despite my uncertainty at the time. But then I remembered being told his date of birth previously. The information most likely replayed subconsciously. In saying this, lucid dreaming is a great tool for self-improvement as it can provide you with different perspectives.

*Not exactly "lucid dreaming" as I didn't interpret it as a dream at the time and therefore did not know that I was dreaming. I was awake in the dream world in every sense of the word though. Like Robert Monroe, in the out-of-body experience and not knowing that it's just a hybrid brain state compounding wakefulness and sleep.
"Empty cognizance of one taste, suffused with knowing, is your unmistaken nature, the uncontrived original state. when not altering what is, allow it to be as it is, and the awakened state is right now spontaneously present."

- Padmasambhava

AceOfSpades
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Re: Does the afterlife exist at all? Debate that here.

Postby AceOfSpades » 10 Aug 2013 00:55

You're nihilism has it's holes too Summerlander. The consciousness in of itself is not in the brain but the electrical impulses that power the brain as well as the nerves. While we know what produces said impulses. scientists to this day cannot figure out what exactly they are short of it being an energy source in our bodies. Practical Grade School physics can tell you that any energy doesn't die out, it can only be transferred, manipulated, converted and diverted. All the brain and other vital organs do is store these impulses and move them about. Any of these organs get fatal wounds, the energy simply escapes and finds something else to latch onto. Unlike most examples of energy, these impulses are sentient and living. The body may be dead but the energy lives on.

If that is not the most scientific way to accurately portray the soul and ghosts, then I don't know what is. And if there is such thing as a soul and ghosts then there has to be an after life. Even if it's just them lingering around this world and we can't see them.

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deschainXIX
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Re: Does the afterlife exist at all? Debate that here.

Postby deschainXIX » 10 Aug 2013 00:57

So you say that because the 'brain' can fail to work properly, there can be no continued consciousness after the body dies. But the brain is part of the body. BRAIN is the physical side of it, and we've already established that, yes, the body can die, rot, wither, and go away. So can the brain. So while this argument is a good one, it is invalid and doesn't disprove life after death.

Our spiritual 'consciousness' can be preserved, apart from the body. The 'body' and the 'mind' are not the same. That's why astral projection can exist. Our brains are mere vectors for our consciousness, I theorize. If the brain dies, perhaps our consciousness is preserved in that instant and frozen; to be continued on AFTER the rest of the body dies and the soul can pass on.

My idea is a bit hard to explain, so sorry if that made no sense at all.

(in response to Summerlander's argument)
Well said.


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