Does the afterlife exist at all? Debate that here.

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

Postby Summerlander » 10 Aug 2013 02:26

AceOfSpades wrote: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.


I don't see how my nihilism has its holes with that. You've just merely stated what is required for consciousness to happen. Take any of that away and it ceases. Simple. You may say that energy never goes away. But physics also tell us that atoms decay. The energetic configuration that constitutes us may play an important role in the manifestation of consciousness and sense of self but disperse that configuration and the special function is gone.

In a similar vein, take apart your computer and I guarantee you that it will fail to do what it's supposed to do. All I see is our brain, which has evolved over millions of years to the point of accumulated complexity, seemingly generating consciousness.

To deschainXIX there, since you focused on my post and failed to notice the fallacy of his statement, my job is not to disprove the afterlife. If that was the case I'd be pushed to attempt to disprove the tooth fairy, elves, unicorns, and everything else that any Joe can claim to exist.

The onus is on the believer to prove it and that's how science has always worked. Science also works with empirical falsification as recommended by the great philosopher of science, Karl Popper. If the believer believes for comfort and has nothing of substance to offer other than faith, then that's not good enough.

AceOfSpades wrote: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 you are referring to bioelectricity and how the body is stimulated by the environment when you say "energy," let me assure you that what you've just stated does not mean that said energy is conscious when not arranged physiologically. It just means it is an element that when added to other compounded factors will give rise to the consciousness phenomenon, which, by the way, may be an illusion as suggested by Susan Blackmore.

Before anyone jumps on the high horse with this statement, let me emphasised that illusion does not mean that something doesn't exist, it just means that it may not be what it seems. You all imply that consciousness is something independent, a medium which interacts with physical things, whilst ignoring the possibility that it could be an illusory gestalt (which in all likelihood it is).

So, the second part of your statement above is speculation and pure conjecture. Where is the evidence for this hypothetical energy escaping, and, like a sentient substance, latching onto something else?

AceOfSpades wrote: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.


Not really. The most scientific way to portray ghosts is to place them in the "hypothesis" category as opposed to the "scientific theory" one. In the latter, you have rich calculations and a body of potential evidence waiting to be tested - the result of which is an a posteriori conclusion. In the former, you have nothing of substance. A unicorn would be in the hypothesis category. Science politely deems such hypothetical factors as "improbable." A unicorn is highly improbable and you might as well say it doesn't exist (until one day one shows up). As you can see, my argument is, why believe in something when there is no scientific evidence for it? Ghosts lingering around invisible to us is just speculation. See what I mean?

deschainXIX wrote: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.


Read what I said to AceofSpaces and see why this statement is a fallacy regarding the burden of proof. I'm saying there is no reason to believe in the afterlife and evidence weighs in favour of nothingness in death. Even the living will have their moments of unconsciousness and their brains will show different activity. Consciousness and unconsciousness reflects in the brain. There are scientists studying the neurocorrelates of consciousness as we speak. You may say they are going on the strong assumption that consciousness cannot exist without the complex cerebral structure in action, but given the evidence this "assumption" seems justified.

There are many things which are invisible but have been scientifically detected and are observed to exert influence in the physical world. Such forces are also physical. If there was a soul, this too would be detected if it interacts with the physical body - and it would have to be physical too for if it weren't it would not be able to interact at all. Descartes' dualism has died and the Cartesian materialism is inaccurate. The answers lie in a yet misunderstood physical world which is full of illusions. Until we can solve the mystery of consciousness we can't make insubstantial claims about souls and won't do ourselves any favours by filling in the gaps with fantasies and then call them "explanations."

deschainXIX wrote: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.


You are certainly talking when you use the words I have highlighted in red. But at the same time you wrestle with unproven, hypothetical factors and presupposing them in a way that contributes to an oxymoron. Where is the evidence for the existence of the soul and how do you know that astral projection is not just lucid dreaming when we all know that the dreaming mind can emulate reality and anything that is conceivable in imagination?
"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 » 10 Aug 2013 03:32

Summerlander wrote: Where is the evidence for the existence of the soul and how do you know that astral projection is not just lucid dreaming when we all know that the dreaming mind can emulate reality and anything that is conceivable in imagination?


Well, where is the evidence disproving it? I am simply making a comeback to you previous statements, and it worked. Merely stating that there is no known evidence supporting this idea is like saying, "I don't believe kangaroos exist because I have never seen one in real life." You do understand that we are talking about the possibility of an 'afterlife' right? You and I can NEVER know for sure who is right, so stop trying to make it seem like there is hard, cold evidence proving the existence or nonexistence of an afterlife. And I certainly presented a plausible solution.
Well said.

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

Postby AceOfSpades » 10 Aug 2013 03:39

In a similar vein, take apart your computer and I guarantee you that it will fail to do what it's supposed to do. All I see is our brain, which has evolved over millions of years to the point of accumulated complexity, seemingly generating consciousness.


Funny how you say supposed to do like everything has a predestined order to follow. That's what I mean by holes. You are so dedicated to find what is logical to you that, by poor choice of words you proven my point further. It's like saying "There is no god, because god told me he didn't exist."

Atoms do decay but they don't fade into nothing. Another Grade school science lesson any type of chemical state, liquid, Solid, Gas, plasma has an endless cycle of growth and decay. Even the rotting mulch of an old tree are crucial into helping to grow a new tree.

Now here's a bit more in the logistics department, Cells and Atoms, each one responisible for being a tiny building block to a larger force, living things and energy respectfully. Both have nucleus that work as the brain of said building blocks which in turn houses their own consciousness. Ergo atoms are just as alive as cells are. Energy is just as living as the things it help fuel.

As for evidence, you just gave it to me. When you said that there was no proof of any signs of consciousness after death. It got me thinking that the only way that the brain wouldn't show any signs would be if the EEG or any other neuroscience measure devices wouldn't detect any sign of electrical impulses if they weren't there. So it got me thinking even more. If they aren't in the body then they left the body.

In a way you practically helped me strengthen my statement.

Not really. The most scientific way to portray ghosts is to place them in the "hypothesis" category as opposed to the "scientific theory" one. In the latter, you have rich calculations and a body of potential evidence waiting to be tested - the result of which is an a posteriori conclusion. In the former, you have nothing of substance. A unicorn would be in the hypothesis category. Science politely deems such hypothetical factors as "improbable." A unicorn is highly improbable and you might as well say it doesn't exist (until one day one shows up). As you can see, my argument is, why believe in something when there is no scientific evidence for it? Ghosts lingering around invisible to us is just speculation. See what I mean?


"If you eliminate all the impossible, whatever remains however improbable could be the truth." That's all I have to say about that one.

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

Postby erichsa » 10 Aug 2013 09:45

It is no use talking to Summérlander in the end this supposed debate will be stopped as the last one. Because Summerlander will see to that. For Summerlander there is only one right, and that is his, and he is teaching us to see it his way. I ask you, how can you refute his arguments (That the are far over the head of a lot of our members, seems to be immaterial) I will say it once again: Yes Summerlander you could be right, but let people differ. Cant you do that? :)

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

Postby AceOfSpades » 10 Aug 2013 10:16

Apparently he can't. Unless an actual ghost or being from said afterlife, would show he is gonna stay that way for a long time. And even then he'd blame it on a hallucination or a guy/girl in a costume. Kinda like Bill Murray from Scrooged.

Frank Cross: No, you are a hallucination, brought on by Alcohol. Russian Vodka, poisoned by Chernobyl!!

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

Postby deschainXIX » 10 Aug 2013 17:54

Yeah this is just a classic Man of Science, Man of Faith debate and it'll just go on forever. Agree to disagree.
Well said.

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

Postby SnorlaxDreamer » 11 Aug 2013 01:26

I'm so obsessive about this. I'm also very divided on this subject. For me, I don't believe afterlife exists. I don't remember or feel anything from before my birth, and I believe it goes the same way when death occurs. What is baffling me though, is that we won't even remember that we have ever lived, but wouldn't that mean that we wouldn't ever have felt the experience of being alive, since it would be erased and not felt after death anyway? All I'm saying is, it would be hard to understand how nothingness in eternity can exist, when we experience right now and stores it as a memory. If the memory of your experience was gone, you would never have experienced it, since at the end you would not remember experiencing it...

I just can't really come up with an answer to myself, and it's bugging me to the point where it is draining some of my life joy. I'm overthinking about it some days, and just simply becomes depressed that nothing is afterwards, and that eternity is real. How would nothingness feel for all eternity? That's just... way too out of hand to comprehend for anyones brain.
"If I only could see you in my dreams, I would sleep all the time!" <3

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

Postby AceOfSpades » 11 Aug 2013 02:38

That's the thing though, we never remember what happens when we are developing to when we are born. Yet according to others our development and birth happened. We are provided with picture and if you guys could afford it, video evidence of our development stage as well as evidence of us being aware of it throughout the whole thing, from kicking in the wound to reacting to certain foods we were given in the umbilical cord. All of this though proves that we had a life on the inside before we had one coming out. Which in turn shows us that we weren't just created from nothing. And if we weren't created from Nothingness then logically there shouldn't be nothingness at the time of our death.

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

Postby Summerlander » 11 Aug 2013 18:03

deschainXIX wrote:Well, where is the evidence disproving it? I am simply making a comeback to you previous statements, and it worked.


No, it hasn't worked. You have merely made yourself look silly in your intention to make a "comeback" rather than to debate constructively. What part of the burden of proof don't you understand? You seem to be clueless about scientific methodology. I can privately give you a crash course on it if you like.

deschainXIX wrote:Merely stating that there is no known evidence supporting this idea is like saying, "I don't believe kangaroos exist because I have never seen one in real life."


No, it's not. You do realise that if I had never seen a kangaroo (or heard of one) and someone told me they exist I'd give them the opportunity to produce one. And guess what, they would be able to do so because kangaroos do exist.

deschainXIX wrote:You do understand that we are talking about the possibility of an 'afterlife' right? You and I can NEVER know for sure who is right, so stop trying to make it seem like there is hard, cold evidence proving the existence or nonexistence of an afterlife. And I certainly presented a plausible solution.


I'm not making it seem like there is evidence against an afterlife. The evidence is out there for all to see. All you have to do is research and drop your bias. As for the solution you supposedly presented, I'm sorry but I must've missed it. What solution?

AceOfSpades wrote:
In a similar vein, take apart your computer and I guarantee you that it will fail to do what it's supposed to do. All I see is our brain, which has evolved over millions of years to the point of accumulated complexity, seemingly generating consciousness.


Funny how you say supposed to do like everything has a predestined order to follow. That's what I mean by holes. You are so dedicated to find what is logical to you that, by poor choice of words you proven my point further. It's like saying "There is no god, because god told me he didn't exist."


A very fallacious reply there. If you look at my statement, when I say "supposed to do" I say it in an anthropic context. A human being will look at the functionality of a working computer and deem it to be 'what it's supposed to do'. If we are talking about things which are intelligently designed by human beings I don't see how this proves your point further.

If, however, we are going to talk about the universe and how it works in a nutshell, I wouldn't use the word "predestined." I'd say deterministic due to cause and effect. Like billiards where the Big Bang is the break-off point. And if you look at evolution, you will immediately notice the lack of "intelligence" in its design. To give one example, our eyes are badly developed in evolution. They are anatomically backwards, upside down and superfluous in nature as you get layer upon layer upon layer.

On top of this unnecessary and pointless accumulation, you get a bundle of neurons that constitute the optic nerve which actually get in the way of vision (what most of us would deem what the eye is "supposed to do") - hence the blind spot. Our eyes could have been simpler and far more effective. There are animals that can detect a lot more with simpler but more sophisticated systems of vision. The point is, the human eye was not intelligently designed with a purpose. It is simply the result of millions of years of evolution where photons kept hitting a group of light-sensitive cells in a simpler ancestral organism. Teleology may be an interesting concept but easily disproved with basic biology. I'd advise you to look into evolution, natural selection and adaptation.

If one states, in their faith, that there is a God, one is assuming that he is clumsy, reckless, and of no intelligence. Otherwise how else would the faithful explain faulty genetic mutations that lead to cancers, disabilities and other maladies. Creationism is false, too. To say a God created the universe leaves you with a big problem: infinite regress as you then have to explain who or what created the creator ad infinitum. You are then trying to justify the postulated existence of something which has not even been shown to exist. Look into AJ Ayer and his logical positivism and mathematician Bertrand Russell. It will expand your mind because at the moment I get the impression that you think this subject is very black and white when it isn't. It's far richer than you can imagine at the moment.

AceOfSpades wrote:Atoms do decay but they don't fade into nothing. Another Grade school science lesson any type of chemical state, liquid, Solid, Gas, plasma has an endless cycle of growth and decay. Even the rotting mulch of an old tree are crucial into helping to grow a new tree.


Let me ask you something: A stone is made of atoms. Is a stone conscious?

AceOfSpades wrote:Both have nucleus that work as the brain of said building blocks which in turn houses their own consciousness. Ergo atoms are just as alive as cells are.


This is not good reasoning regarding atoms and cells. I'll give you a simple analogy which will be easier for you and the layman to take: take a single note away from a piece of music (a whole bunch of notes)...does the single note on its own convey the piece of music? No, it doesn't. It just sounds like a single note, pluripotent but wholly incomplete in the music realm. Just a mere vibration that needs to join others if it has any hope of being part of harmony.

You have no evidence whatsoever that cells by themselves are conscious let alone atoms. Quick lesson for you on what constitutes the building blocks of life arranged in complexity: SPONCH (sulphur, phosphorus, oxygen, nitrogen, carbon, hydrogen).

Also, I'd like to point out to you that much of your cerebral complexity is not even conscious and much of our actions can be done on autopilot (without us being aware of them). Libet's experiment, among others, even showed that before we become aware of making the decision to move a limb, the relevant areas of the brain have already begun their action (hence why consciousness is not quintessential in nature, but rather, something that comes later). The primordial brain is pretty much a thoughtless mechanism which is quick to react as opposed to the neoencephalon (latest cortex in evolution) which is slow to react but thinking.

Moral of the story: atoms are not conscious. A single hydrogen atom is like a single note that does not possess harmony. Even a conglomerate of atoms may not be enough to convey consciousness (like in a stone or a flake of dead skin that I remove from my head). It is something in the arrangement that leads to the byproduct of consciousness. This universe just happened to stumble upon it. Consciousness is something that comes later and is certainly not the product of intelligent design by some God or deities.

AceOfSpades wrote:As for evidence, you just gave it to me. When you said that there was no proof of any signs of consciousness after death. It got me thinking that the only way that the brain wouldn't show any signs would be if the EEG or any other neuroscience measure devices wouldn't detect any sign of electrical impulses if they weren't there. So it got me thinking even more. If they aren't in the body then they left the body.


Actually, I stated what you should know by now. There is no evidence that consciousness survives death and a lot of evidence, as I have pointed out previously, that everything about our minds is obliterable via brain damage or cerebral malfunction. Also, where is the evidence showing that a life force or spirit leaves the body? All you get is something like a Newton's Cradle that stops going when something stops it. Or even a clock that stops ticking when the battery has run out. :mrgreen:

AceOfSpades wrote:In a way you practically helped me strengthen my statement.


Erm... no. Think a little harder.

AceOfSpades wrote:
Not really. The most scientific way to portray ghosts is to place them in the "hypothesis" category as opposed to the "scientific theory" one. In the latter, you have rich calculations and a body of potential evidence waiting to be tested - the result of which is an a posteriori conclusion. In the former, you have nothing of substance. A unicorn would be in the hypothesis category. Science politely deems such hypothetical factors as "improbable." A unicorn is highly improbable and you might as well say it doesn't exist (until one day one shows up). As you can see, my argument is, why believe in something when there is no scientific evidence for it? Ghosts lingering around invisible to us is just speculation. See what I mean?


"If you eliminate all the impossible, whatever remains however improbable could be the truth." That's all I have to say about that one.


That's a bit nonsensical. A non-sequitur, really. How can you eliminate the impossible when it is not there to begin with? It's impossible. That is a poor attempt at going against logical scientific methodology. The second part is even more cringe-worthy. It's like saying fairies are improbable but they could be true. Well, "could" is not good enough and doesn't rank very high against high improbability. It is also certainly no good reason to believe in them. The same applies to the afterlife.

erichsa wrote:It is no use talking to Summérlander in the end this supposed debate will be stopped as the last one.


This is a debate. We are debating.

erichsa wrote:For Summerlander there is only one right, and that is his, and he is teaching us to see it his way. I ask you, how can you refute his arguments (That the are far over the head of a lot of our members, seems to be immaterial) I will say it once again: Yes Summerlander you could be right, but let people differ. Cant you do that? :)


Actually, it's not "my right" at all. I just keep myself well informed and simply state facts. If people are uncomfortable with the facts it's not my problem. You seem to abide by this creed (and erroneous belief) that people are entitled to their own "truths." If I have just come out of an aeroplane and tell you that it's a man-made aircraft and you tell me that you are entitled to your own "truth" in believing that it's an alien spaceship, I'm sorry but that is just not true, it's ignorance and delusion. Even if you like deluding yourself it still doesn't take away from the fact that it's false. So, in answer to your question, no I can't because I am a man of evidence and reason.

AceOfSpades wrote:Apparently he can't. Unless an actual ghost or being from said afterlife, would show he is gonna stay that way for a long time. And even then he'd blame it on a hallucination or a guy/girl in a costume. Kinda like Bill Murray from Scrooged.

Frank Cross: No, you are a hallucination, brought on by Alcohol. Russian Vodka, poisoned by Chernobyl!!


Blame? And remember, Scrooged is not real, it's fiction.

deschainXIX wrote:Yeah this is just a classic Man of Science, Man of Faith debate and it'll just go on forever. Agree to disagree.


Either you agree to disagree or you make the effort to see it from the "Man of Science" perspective. When I was younger, I was exactly where you are. Then I learned to look at things logically. On faith is never a good way. The "Man of Faith" has given up searching for the answers. To posit that consciousness is the substratum of reality itself is not explaining consciousness itself.

Even if you assume that a soul is responsible, then you are faced with another conundrum: how is the hypothetical soul conscious?

SnorlaxDreamer wrote:I'm so obsessive about this. I'm also very divided on this subject. For me, I don't believe afterlife exists. I don't remember or feel anything from before my birth, and I believe it goes the same way when death occurs.


Exactly, it's only logical to think this way.

SnorlaxDreamer wrote:What is baffling me though, is that we won't even remember that we have ever lived, but wouldn't that mean that we wouldn't ever have felt the experience of being alive, since it would be erased and not felt after death anyway?


We can have lucid dreams and not remember them. This doesn't mean that we weren't conscious in those dreams and that we didn't have experience. The experience happened. The lucid dream was felt. Then later forgotten like it never happened. The brain is funny like that. Take Alzheimer's sufferer's or amnesiacs for example. Many things for them never happened. They may even forget who they are. Admittedly hard to fathom but it's fact. We experience life as a continuous reinforcement of memories, some can be lost though.


SnorlaxDreamer wrote:it would be hard to understand how nothingness in eternity can exist, when we experience right now and stores it as a memory. If the memory of your experience was gone, you would never have experienced it, since at the end you would not remember experiencing it...


Let's put it this way. If you died today and were hypothetically reborn in a billion years, time would not have passed for you because you would not have been conscious of it. The billion years in between death and rebirth would not exist for you. In fact, you wouldn't even remember the previous life. Like it had never happened. Anyway, no need to presuppose rebirth. All we can be sure of is this life and by the scientific looks of it, very likely to be the only one. Your life is nothing but a flash, a 'millimetre' in the cosmological 'ruler' of time.

SnorlaxDreamer wrote:How would nothingness feel for all eternity?


It wouldn't feel. There is nothing if you're not there to experience it. The problem is life as the only perspective you have when trying to solve the mystery of death. You feel a need to translate everything into experience because you are alive and you cannot reconcile non-experience. It's something beyond NREM sleep, oblivion with no possibility of return.

AceOfSpades wrote:That's the thing though, we never remember what happens when we are developing to when we are born. Yet according to others our development and birth happened.


Not enough consciousness, or an underdeveloped form of it due to an underdeveloped brain.

AceOfSpades wrote:All of this though proves that we had a life on the inside before we had one coming out. Which in turn shows us that we weren't just created from nothing. And if we weren't created from Nothingness then logically there shouldn't be nothingness at the time of our death.


Erm... no. You are jumping the gun again with non-sequiturs. You have an underdeveloped brain inside the womb. In death, you have no brain. Also, the entire universe very likely arose from nothingness:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-EilZ4VY5Vs
Last edited by Summerlander on 11 Aug 2013 18:34, edited 2 times in total.
"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 » 11 Aug 2013 18:31

Summerlander, you are straying our intellectual debate towards an angry argument by calling me silly and clueless. And I don't have the energy or time to respond to all that text that you do have time for. So whatever. I said agree to disagree so please just do that and stop attacking me.
Well said.


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