The Instigator
Blob
Pro (for)
Winning
18 Points
The Contender
RyozoTabikashi
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Resolved: There is no afterlife.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
Blob
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/7/2012 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,838 times Debate No: 23445
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (15)
Votes (4)

 

Blob

Pro

I will be arguing that there is no afterlife. Con will be arguing that there is an afterlife.

Afterlife: conscious life after death, where a part of, or essence of, soul of, or mind of an individual, which carries with it and confers personal identity, survives the death of the body of this world and this lifetime, by natural or supernatural means.

5000 characters. 1st round acceptance.
RyozoTabikashi

Con

i accept your argument.
Debate Round No. 1
Blob

Pro

As Con has already accepted my argument, I win. However, I will present my argument so that Con can know what he is accepting.



1. If there is no consciousness after death, then there is no afterlife (by definition).

2. Consciousness in an emergent property of the brain.

3. Hence, if there is no brain, there is no consciousness.

4. When someone dies, there is no brain.

5. Hence, when someone dies, there is no consciousness (3 and 4).

6. Therefore, there is no afterlife (1 and 5).




I suspect that Con will want to focus on 2 above.


Defending 2: Organisms without brains are not conscious. Only animals have brains, and hence bacteria, archaea, plants, fungi etc. are not conscious. Of course, not all animals have brains, and hence not all animals are conscious. A coral is not conscious, and even when a brain is present in an animal, consciousness may not be. For example, an insect has a brain, but the insect may not be conscious, and if it is, the level of consciousness is low/simple. Cows have more developed brains, and are they are definitely conscious. For example, it cannot be disputed that a cow feels pain. In general, higher levels of consciousness emerge from larger and more complex brains. Humans have very large and sophisticated brains, and our level of consciousness is high compared with other animals. Similarly, lower levels of consciousness emerge from small, simple or damaged brains. We know that as the level of brain damage increases, consciousness decreases. For example, a good knock on the head might result in permanent memory loss or the loss of the ability to speak, but severe acquired brain injury can result in a persistent vegetative state, where the person is in “a wakeful unconscious state...” [1]. All of this strongly indicates, and indeed confirms (to the extent that something can be scientifically confirmed), that consciousness is an emergent property of the brain.



Simply, if progressive brain damage causes a corresponding progressive loss of consciousness, then no brain (i.e. brain decomposition) results in a complete and permanent loss of consciousness, and not the complete restoration of consciousness.


[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...

RyozoTabikashi

Con

Ok so you have already won have you? Well let me rebuttal your case.

You state that you lose your brain after death. Sure it decomposes, but that doesn't mean you have no afterlife. Think about it, the memories other s have of you when you die is a way of living after death. Also the bible states that when you die, then you will either go to heaven if you are saved, or hell if you are a nonbeliever, and as a strong believer, I believe that. However I will not base my argument off of biblical reasons if I can help it.
I would also like to point out some strange appearances such as ghost. Some people say they don't exist, but I say they do. In fact I have had multiple experiences with them, so if there is no lives after death please explain what they are in essence.
Also your five facts, they really don't support anything. Sure when you die your brain functions cease, but that doesn't mean you lose your brain, and I quote you, "When someone dies there is no brain." The brain functions cease, but the brain is still in the cranium, (or head for those who don't know.)
And if you take the Greek mythology into account, you have Hades or Pluto in his Roman essence, Osiris in Egyptian Mythology, and in christiananity you have heaven and hell. If there was no afterlife explain these religions and beliefs.
Debate Round No. 2
Blob

Pro

... the memories other s have of you when you die is a way of living after death.

Memory and life are clearly completely different things. In any case, your argument still falls over in a scenario where all people die. In such a scenario, nobody could have any memories of other people, and hence there would be no afterlife.


Also the bible states that...

Well, I have a piece of scrap paper on which someone wrote “The bible is wrong. There is no afterlife.”, and I strongly believe what it says on that piece of paper.


I would also like to point out some strange appearances such as ghost. Some people say they don't exist, but I say they do. In fact I have had multiple experiences with them...

As with all supernatural things, the only “evidence” for such phenomena is anecdotal. There is no scientific evidence for the existence of ghosts. All ghost “sightings” or “experiences” can be explained by ordinary physical phenomena e.g. air pressure changes (slamming doors), reflected light (“ghostly” images), imperfect vision, and especially pareidolia [1].


Sure when you die your brain functions cease, but that doesn't mean you lose your brain, and I quote you, "When someone dies there is no brain." The brain functions cease, but the brain is still in the cranium, (or head for those who don't know.)

It makes no difference. When brain functions cease, there is no consciousness. Therefore, for the purposes of this debate, “no brain” and “no functional brain” are the same thing. In other words, my argument can be restated as follows:

1. If there is no consciousness after death, then there is no afterlife (by definition).

2. Consciousness in an emergent property of a functional brain.

3. Hence, if there is no functional brain, there is no consciousness.

4. When someone dies, there is no functional brain.

5. Hence, when someone dies, there is no consciousness (3 and 4).

6. Therefore, there is no afterlife (1 and 5).

Clearly, the question of how long it takes for the brain to cease to exist due to decomposition is irrelevant.


And if you take the Greek mythology into account, you have Hades or Pluto in his Roman essence, Osiris in Egyptian Mythology, and in christiananity you have heaven and hell. If there was no afterlife explain these religions and beliefs.

The explanation is that they are, as you stated correctly, religions and beliefs, and not facts.

I have provided a sound and logical argument that there is no afterlife, and I have provided concrete evidence to support my argument. Con has not refuted anything that I have said. Further, Con has not provided any sound argument as to why brain damage would reduce consciousness but brain death would restore consciousness.


[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...

RyozoTabikashi

Con

Ok. You say I haven't proved anything you said false. Well now I am going to have to disagree with you.
You state there is no life after death, I say there is. The bible states that when people die they go to either heaven or hell, thus giving them eternal LIFE. You don't believe in the bible, but everything in it saying Jesus is coming back is happening today.
Now to refute your five points:
1.If there is no consciousness after death, there is no afterlife. (by definition)- Okay here is your definition. Afterlife: conscious life after death, where a part of, or essence of, soul of, or mind of an individual, which carries with it and confers personal identity, survives the death of the body of this world and this lifetime, by natural or supernatural means. I have no argument with this definition.
2.Consciousness in an emergent property of a functional brain- this is both true and untrue. By saying this you are saying when people fall unconscious their brain ceases to function. By stating this everyone unconscious is basically dead.
3.Hence, if there is no functional brain, there is no consciousness- this is not true. The bible states that when someone dies, their body decays, but their mind lives on.
4.When someone dies, there is no functional brain- the brain as we see it now decomposes, but the mind and consciousness lives on.
5.Hence, when someone dies, there is no consciousness- refuted above
6.Therefore, there is no afterlife- refuted below

To refute 6, I will give you biblical and human references.
•1 Corinthians 15:12, 13 - If there is no such thing as life after death, then Jesus could not have been raised.
•1 Corinthians 15:13-15 - If there is no resurrection, the Bible writers are not trustworthy
•Luke 20:27-39 - Sadducee's denied resurrection because, like modern materialists, they denied the existence of spirits (Acts 23:8). Jesus responded by quoted God's statement, "I AM the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob." God said this after these men had died. This proves that "all live to God" - even dead people. Though men may die physically, to God they still live. As with the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31), their spirits continue in a conscious state.
•Frederick Myers was a founder of the Society for Psychical Research. Within a few weeks of Myers' death in 1901, he began to communicate through different direct writing mediums in England, the United States and India, sending information about what happens when we die. His scripts made no sense on their own but the mediums were told to forward them to a central location where they fitted together like a jigsaw. They were signed, "Myers." More than three thousand scripts were transmitted over thirty years, some of them more than forty typed pages long. Read more about these "cross-correspondences" and Myers' discoveries about the afterlife - plus read the full books, here online, written by Geraldine Cummins, one of Myers' correspondents…
•"Oh, if I could only leave you the proof that I continue. Yet another attempt to run the blockade - to strive to get a message through. How can I make your hand docile enough - how can I convince them? I am trying, amid unspeakable difficulties. It is impossible for me to know how much of what I send reaches you. I feel as if I had presented my credentials - reiterated the proofs of my identity in a wearisomely repetitive manner. The nearest simile I can find to express the difficulty of sending a message is that I appear to be standing behind a sheet of frosted glass, which blurs sight and deadens sound, dictating feebly to a reluctant and somewhat obtuse secretary. A feeling of terrible impotence burdens me. Oh it is a dark road." – Myers after his death.
Here is proof of life after death. Myers, the bible. All historical facts. And all happened. thanks

www.trans4mind.com/spiritual/myers2.html
http://www.gdcoc.org...
Debate Round No. 3
Blob

Pro

Consciousness in an emergent property of a functional brain- this is both true and untrue. By saying this you are saying when people fall unconscious their brain ceases to function. By stating this everyone unconscious is basically dead.

"Consciousness is an emergent property of a functional brain" means that consciousness can only emerge from a functional brain, and that if there is no functional brain, there can be no consciousness. It does not mean that unconsciousness cannot also emerge from a functional brain. Clearly, both consciousness and unconsciousness can emerge from a functional brain. Unconsciousness can occur either where there is a functional brain (e.g. coma) or no functional brain (e.g. decomposing brain). As I already explained, progressive brain damage leads to a progressive decrease in consciousness, and not a progressive restoration of consciousness. Consciousness can only emerge from a functional brain. Thus, consciousness is an emergent property of a functional brain.


Hence, if there is no functional brain, there is no consciousness- this is not true. The bible states that when someone dies, their body decays, but their mind lives on.

As I said in the Comments, I do not know how many people here consider scripture to constitute an argument, but I certainly do not. Belief in the bible is, by definition, based on faith, and not reason. If Con does not value reasonable debate (as I do), then what reasonable argument could possibly win Con over? There is no such argument. As soon as scripture is quoted, we reach a dead end.


To refute 6, I will give you biblical...references.

See above regarding biblical references.



To refute 6, I will give you...human references.

Within a few weeks of Myers' death in 1901, he began to communicate through different direct writing mediums. His scripts made no sense on their own but the mediums were told to forward them.

As with the bible, belief in Myers' scripts is based on faith. Anyone can write something down on a piece of paper and then claim the words came from a dead person. But extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. In this case, there is no evidence that a dead Myers communicated with a living being. There are only anecdotes. I do not intend to read a full book written by one of Myers "correspondents".



Here is proof of life after death. Myers, the bible. All historical facts. And all happened.

See above.



SUMMARY

I have provided a sound and logical argument that clearly shows there is no afterlife. I have given a clear and easy to understand outline of the physical/factual evidence that supports my argument. I rebutted both of Con's objections by explaining that no brain = no functional brain (for the purposes of this debate), and that consciousness can only emerge from a functional brain even though unconsciousness can also emerge from a functional brain.

Con's arguments in favour of an afterlife are all faith-based. He does not provide the extraordinary evidence required to substantiate his extraordinary claims. In fact, he does not provide any evidence at all. Con's use of faith-based arguments indicates that he does not value reasonable debate, and thus there is no reasonable response that could possibly mean anything significant to Con, except perhaps to point out this very fact, which I have done.
RyozoTabikashi

Con

i will no longer paticipate in this argument when my opponent states "that there is no reasonable response that could possibly mean anything significant to Con." that is a insult, therefore i won't finish this debate.
Debate Round No. 4
15 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Blob 5 years ago
Blob
Likewise.
Posted by CaptainTom 5 years ago
CaptainTom
@Blob: Well said. Thanks for the chat. I'd debate with you anytime.
Posted by Blob 5 years ago
Blob
@ CaptainTom: Yes, "afterlife"means that death has occurred, and we agree with each other that once something dies it becomes an inanimate object. We also agree with each other that everything a person is (in terms of consciousness, mind, soul, whatever) can be found in the brain.

I was merely suggesting that IF conscious could exist independently of the mind, then we should be able to measure this somehow. I do not know how (perhaps by some different form of communication, as you suggested?), because I am not a neuroscientist. One thing I do know, however, is that we would not be able to measure it as a minute change in the mass of a brain at the point of death, as has been suggested in some popular novels etc.

But I think the important thing to remember is that we have very good evidence to suggest that they are not separate things. If consciousness could exist independently, then it would not show such a strong dependence on brain size, brain complexity, and brain damage.
Posted by CaptainTom 5 years ago
CaptainTom
That's a good point, Blob, but doesn't the entire term "afterlife" imply that death has occurred? And once someone has died, they become an inanimate object, unable to take action or alter the world around them. If you're implying that we can take someone's brain out of their head (keeping it alive) and see if it can communicate through other means (technological or otherwise) then I feel that's a different question/debate. "Afterlife" implies death = no longer alive = no longer exists.

I understand you're talking more about the 'mind' (or soul or whatever you want to call it) but everything that a person is can be found in their brain, mind in all. I feel like separating mind/brain is splitting hairs. And even then, as you say there would only be evidence "to SUGGEST that consciousness MIGHT be able to exist in SOME form" which is a lot of 'maybe' words. If you know a way of measuring this, I'd love to hear it.

And thanks for the reply. I was very interested in this debate and was disappointed the Con ended up forfeiting for lack of evidence. As you said, the argument could be made, even if it can't be proven.
Posted by Blob 5 years ago
Blob
@ CaptainTom: I'm glad that you did not consider my post to be insulting, however I would have to disagree with your suggestion that it would be impossible to have evidence to support an afterlife. For example, if the mind (or soul or whatever you want to call it) was in fact distinctly separate (physically) from the brain, perhaps like software running on a computer, then in theory we should be able to measure this. If we did measure this, then there would be evidence to suggest that consciousness might be able to exist in some form in the absence of a functional brain. However, as we both know, all evidence so far points to the opposite i.e. that consciousness cannot exist in the absence of a functional brain.
Posted by CaptainTom 5 years ago
CaptainTom
Pro was in no way insulting to Con. All Con has is the bible which he claims to be fact (seriously?). The fact is there's no after-life and even if there was we would never have any evidence to support it. This debate was over before it started. A real no brainer, if you will.
Posted by Blob 5 years ago
Blob
For the record, I did not mean to insult Con, and I don't believe I did. I meant my comment in the same way as scripture does not mean anything significant to me.
Posted by Blob 5 years ago
Blob
I mean he said "I accept your argument."
Posted by Blob 5 years ago
Blob
It was just a light joke, because Con said "Accept your argument". I did not expect my comment to be taken seriously.
Posted by MouthWash 5 years ago
MouthWash
"As Con has already accepted my argument, I win. However, I will present my argument so that Con can know what he is accepting." What does this mean? You said first round acceptance.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by InVinoVeritas 5 years ago
InVinoVeritas
BlobRyozoTabikashiTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct to Pro for Con's rude resignation. Sources for Pro because Con used the Bible as a source. Argument for Pro, because Con forfeited and had no way of winning anyway.
Vote Placed by socialpinko 5 years ago
socialpinko
BlobRyozoTabikashiTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: So clearly a Pro win. Aside from the basic forfeit in the last round, it would appear that Pro had already won. Not only did Con attempt to use the Bible as an unwarranted source for their claims, but Con also attempted to change the definition of consciousness after death, referring to life after death as existence in the memory of others. Goalpost shifting and unacceptable sources made this debate over even before Con's forfeit.
Vote Placed by t-man 5 years ago
t-man
BlobRyozoTabikashiTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Con basicly gave up in the end.
Vote Placed by XimenBao 5 years ago
XimenBao
BlobRyozoTabikashiTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Functionally a FF, so the conduct point that would have gone to Con goes to Tied.