The Instigator
SuperiorIntelligence
Con (against)
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The Contender
TheJuniorVarsityNovice
Pro (for)
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Can we understand death?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/12/2015 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 481 times Debate No: 71610
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (4)
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SuperiorIntelligence

Con

Foreword
This debate has been done to find a good debating partner to do philosophical discussions with. The topic is one from about a year ago, with I and a now inactive user profjb. Other Philosophy debates on my profile will be used for the next debate, and then I will probably start thinking of new topics.I look forward to finding a smart and mature partner to discuss things with.

Debate
First round is acceptance and a general religious background (Christian, Jewism, Islam, etc.)
To start off, I'm Christian. Also, tihs is really a discussion, so either member can talk about either side.

I hope whoever accepts enjoys a nice talk about philosphical discussions.


TheJuniorVarsityNovice

Pro

Hello SuperiorIntelligence, I am TheJuniorVarsityNovice and I would thoroughly enjoy discussing this topic with you. Being that your name is fairly long I will refer to you, unless you have a preffered nick name, as 'Peritelli' or maybe 'Sine'. You can just call me JVN. In anycase I look forward to your points and pass the pen back to you.
Debate Round No. 1
SuperiorIntelligence

Con

'Sine' is a nice nickname, we'll probably go with that. JVN's good as well.

I am very sorry for taking so long to post my side of the discussion, I've had quite a busy weekend.

Otherwise, lets begin.

Now, if we look at death from a general point of view. Most religions involve a spirit 'going somewhere else', like Heaven (Christianity), Nirvana (Buddhism), Paradise (Islam) and so on. Perhaps something that prohibits us from understanding 'death' is the possibility that these worlds could be in another dimension, and death is dimensional travel. As we are nowhere near understanding dimensional travel, we can't understand it.

I believe though, that in the (far) future, we might stumble upon one of these worlds in experiments with dimensional travel through an accident, if it is true.

Most religions don't really explain fully what their post mortem world is. Heaven is a world of happiness and the Lord's love, but in what way? Nirvana is a world reached after almost endless cycles of death, reincarnation, death, etc. But how many times do we need to die? What would it be like in a world where all personal desires are to be extinguished?

So, we can't fully understand it through religion, or science.

That concludes my side. I look forward to yours.
TheJuniorVarsityNovice

Pro


“I have been and still am a seeker, but I have ceased to question stars and books; I have begun to listen to the teaching my blood whispers to me.”
R13; Hermann Hesse

Hermann Hesse makes an interesting point here. What I draw from this quote is that often time humans seek to search for answers through various means; science, art, religion, philosophy....ect. Ultimately however, some truths are inherent. Death is one of these things.....I would like to thank Sine for offering this interesting and unconventional topic of discussion. I'm glad there are other lovers of philosophy on DDO to whom I can engage in topics of interest such as this :P

When considering the inherency of human conciousness I think that All people are born experiencing the same reality. We all feel the same emotions: Happiness, anger, fear, and sadness. We all know what it is to be concious in the first place, to be sentient. Whatever lies beyond death is in the realm of what we already know, at least to some degree. Although religions arent specific in what exactly the great beyond is, what every religion is consitent on is that it is some form or mutation of what we already experience. Nirvana, a place of bliss, surely we can slightly understand it. Heaven, a place with no tears or according to some, a place with 42 virgins, both of which are fairly comprehendible.

It has also been pointed out by some that perhaps the world is like a training ground for heaven or the after life in general, that maybe the after life is just like it is here but without pain and of course different laws of the universe or 'dimension'. Overall I think the fact that we experience conciousness at all, assuming that we are concious in the afterlife, shows that we can at least slightly understand death, even if its just an approximation. As a matter of fact, even if atheists are correct and there is nothing I think that, according to the definition of understand, that we do indeed understand this lack of conciousness. The definition of understand is simply: "to infer something from information received". We know that death would be just like sleeping in this case, and thus we can also understand an atheists version of death.

I thank all who have read thus far and look forward to an interesting response from Sine on the matter.

-JVN
Debate Round No. 2
SuperiorIntelligence

Con

Again, apologies for a late reply.

The idea of a training ground for heaven really seems to reduce the purpose of our existence on this Earth, doesn't it?
All human accomplishments, just to get us ready for a new place after death.
On the contrary, though, perhaps we do need the training for a new universe/dimension to prepare us for the different laws that govern this second universe. If that is so, we could imagine many different universes, each scaling in difference to ours, and which one you are sent into after death depends on your life and your 'success in training' on Earth.
I agree that an atheists version of death can be understood, but I'm sure many of us would wish for something than eternal sleep. I do.

Consciousness giving us some understanding of death is a new point. However, your statement about how people are born experiencing the same reality is most likely not true. Here's an interesting fact: There are two wildly different universes in our world. One is the objective universe. This is the world itself, no interpretations, but pure existing. The second is the subjective universe: As humans, we interpret the world around us from birth, and each of our interpretations, our 'lives' is different. Humans never see the objective universe.
The point of that long-winded fact was that we don't experience the same reality, and we never do.
Desperately struggling to come up with ideas :)

An important concept to think about when thinking about death is birth. We have no idea or understanding where the life, or soul, comes from when a baby is conceived. If there is nothing before birth, why should there be something afterwards?
Or does this mean there is a separate place where we are before birth?

It is probably true that if there is an afterlife, it will be paradise compared to the problems we have here on Earth. However, if we take Christianity as an example, Heaven is eternally soaking in God's infinite love. While this sounds awesome to everyone, human nature will make this impossible. As we are human, eventually we will become bored, and leave to do something else. But, if there is nothing else, won't it become torture? Having to do same thing for eternity?

This debate is growing into a great collection of interesting points, and I do say thank JVNfor participating.
TheJuniorVarsityNovice

Pro

Is your red my green?

This is a good question, it demonstrates how little we know about other people and questions the fabric of our reality. Do you experience what I experience, in the same way? The answer is not confirmable, but should we accept that we don't real simply because we cant prove otherwise? Of course not, it is much more rational to simply assume that we all do indeed feel the same experiences. Sine has pointed out that each person lives his or her own life in their way and their interpritation of it, we see some things as immoral and others as moral, some things as beautiful and some as ugly, thus we all see something differently. While this is true, this doesn't neccesarily mean that we all percieve reality differently, it just means we have different interpritations of that reality that we are all viewing. Sine is actually demonstrating my point because although we have different interpritations we are all looking at a similar thing that is being interprited. For instance, is a square in my universe not a square in your universe? I would contend yes. And that is what I was refering to. Despite the fact that our interpritations of the objective reality differ, ultimately our consciousness is seeing the same Base thing, or a close approximation of it. Beyond this fact, do we not all experience cosciouness? despite the fact that the concsiousness we experience is not a photo copy of everyone else's, it is still consciousness is it not? I know what it is like to be Awake, and so do you. I contend that if the afterlife exists it is experiencable and all we need to experience things is consciousness, which we are already familiar with. Even if the details arent the same, even if we experience a glorious shower of love unlike any other we have experienced on earth, we are, on a fundemental level, still experiencing something and the act of experiencing something is something that we are already familiar with, something we can understand.

So basically I think that religion, while it may not highlight exactly what we experience, is conclusive in that is states we will experience Something, and experiencing something is an action we can understand. Furthermore, even if death is pure blankness, we can still understand this in the form of sleep. Now, as far as heaven being repititious and thus boring, I would have to disagree. given that heaven is real and that it is basking in god's love, I think it would be pleasurable enough to infinitely 'entertain' us. For instance, if you gave someone heroin that never wore off, the person would be content infinitely, they will have reached a point where thinking and rationality are useless and they are forever happy. The reason this may be unconfortable is probably because, in our current rational mind we cannot comprehend eternity. Trying to makes us go a bit crazy being that we have finite minds and thus it may seem terrible but in reality we already know infinity. each moment we eperience is infinity. Each passing moment is infinite. we say 'it has been 1 second' but in reality it has been 1.0001 seconds, ande then 1.000001, then 1.000000000000001, then 1.00000000000000000000001, then 1.00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001 seconds.....this goes on forever, to us though, it is just a moment. These are my points, thanks for appreciating them.

-JVN
Debate Round No. 3
SuperiorIntelligence

Con

SuperiorIntelligence forfeited this round.
TheJuniorVarsityNovice

Pro

It appears the opponent has fofeited the round, being that I have provided in general superior argumentation and these points have been mostly concessed, I can only see a ballot for pro. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 4
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by SuperiorIntelligence 2 years ago
SuperiorIntelligence
I apologies for my forfeiture of Round 4.
I ask that people please consider Rounds 1-3 for considering of the most thought-invoking philosophy.
I forfeited because of another busy weekend in which I had no time due to numerous issues.'
I hope that I and JVN have many more discussions.
Posted by SuperiorIntelligence 2 years ago
SuperiorIntelligence
Lots of appreciation for your input, Reeseroni.
Good to see a few people taking notice :D
Posted by Reeseroni 2 years ago
Reeseroni
I apologize, but this is my contribution to your discussion, though I will not have time to commit to an ongoing conversation.
Posted by Reeseroni 2 years ago
Reeseroni
I think the answer is no, we cannot understand death. Death is inevitable. Death is... an end. Does anyone like ending things? No. So who would want to understand the end something as valuable as one's life? (considering you are not deranged, or a sociopath) I think that we do not fully understand the purpose and significance of death, and many of us put it out of our minds so that we can get through day-to-day activities with no added stress. Death is an awful thought, just like an ending to a favourite TV show during its final season. I do not believe that we will fully understand Death until the Earth meets Death itself (maybe). If there are humans left during the last day of Earth's existence, they may not even see it coming. To propose the question "Can we understand death?" is a very deep topic which is almost self-paradoxial, and is a difficult one to grasp. Death is an end to life, where the soul leaves the body and goes-- who knows where... we like to tell ourselves that if we act good during our lives on earth, we will be gifted with eternal life in heaven with God and all of our deceased friends and family. Otherwise, if the lives we live on earth are bad, we will go to hell and be greeted by pain and misery. This may be a self instinct to calm oneself from the frightening thoughts of never seeing other human beings again, or it might just be a Divine power telling us what to do if we want to rest in peace. I pray that it is a divine power, and that death isn't just a bottomless pit of emptiness and unthinkable monotony, or even a complete stop where we never wake up again. It is indeed a frightening thought. Once again, this may be just a human instinct, looking to be comforted from the inevitable pain and sadness that may be yet to come, but it may also be a divine inspiration. If we, as humans, have played our cards right, it just might be that we will have something after death, and we will someday,... understand the significance of life. Thank You.
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