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Belief in an afterlife and Evolution.

Rational_Thinker9119
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6/1/2012 4:01:28 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
I was just thinking today that belief in an afterlife ties in nicely with the implications of Natural Selection and Evolution. Very intelligent organisms who are aware of their inevitable demise will subconsciously deny death as a survival mechanism. However, the only way for this to happen is to accept the belief that "you" continue even if the body dies (which doesn't make much sense to me, because "you" are your body). This is because it's known that the biology stops working no matter how much we avoid attackers and consume energy. However, organisms like dogs who are not very intelligent or aware of their inevitable deaths are blissfully ignorant and don't even carry the capacity to know they will die, they only respond instinctively most of the time.

So it seems to me that belief in an afterlife could be a developed survival mechanism for our aware and intelligent species who know that one day, it will be all over no matter what we do. I could even take it a step further and argue that belief in an afterlife actually fits better than with naturalism than supernaturalism.
SarcasticIndeed
Posts: 2,215
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6/1/2012 4:52:41 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/1/2012 4:01:28 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
I was just thinking today that belief in an afterlife ties in nicely with the implications of Natural Selection and Evolution. Very intelligent organisms who are aware of their inevitable demise will subconsciously deny death as a survival mechanism. However, the only way for this to happen is to accept the belief that "you" continue even if the body dies (which doesn't make much sense to me, because "you" are your body). This is because it's known that the biology stops working no matter how much we avoid attackers and consume energy. However, organisms like dogs who are not very intelligent or aware of their inevitable deaths are blissfully ignorant and don't even carry the capacity to know they will die, they only respond instinctively most of the time.

So it seems to me that belief in an afterlife could be a developed survival mechanism for our aware and intelligent species who know that one day, it will be all over no matter what we do. I could even take it a step further and argue that belief in an afterlife actually fits better than with naturalism than supernaturalism.

Well, it makes sense, somewhat. Lol, it's funny that people didn't think about this.
<SIGNATURE CENSORED> nac
ScottyDouglas
Posts: 2,350
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6/1/2012 5:30:10 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/1/2012 4:01:28 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
I was just thinking today that belief in an afterlife ties in nicely with the implications of Natural Selection and Evolution. Very intelligent organisms who are aware of their inevitable demise will subconsciously deny death as a survival mechanism. However, the only way for this to happen is to accept the belief that "you" continue even if the body dies (which doesn't make much sense to me, because "you" are your body). This is because it's known that the biology stops working no matter how much we avoid attackers and consume energy. However, organisms like dogs who are not very intelligent or aware of their inevitable deaths are blissfully ignorant and don't even carry the capacity to know they will die, they only respond instinctively most of the time.

So it seems to me that belief in an afterlife could be a developed survival mechanism for our aware and intelligent species who know that one day, it will be all over no matter what we do. I could even take it a step further and argue that belief in an afterlife actually fits better than with naturalism than supernaturalism.

Or the obv. conclusion your totally rejected to mention. There is actually a afterlife and it is supernatural. You leave this point out because you fear it. You do not want there to be a God and afterlife because if there is you rejected it, cold-heartedly.
TheAsylum
Rational_Thinker9119
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6/1/2012 5:55:25 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/1/2012 5:30:10 PM, ScottyDouglas wrote:
At 6/1/2012 4:01:28 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
I was just thinking today that belief in an afterlife ties in nicely with the implications of Natural Selection and Evolution. Very intelligent organisms who are aware of their inevitable demise will subconsciously deny death as a survival mechanism. However, the only way for this to happen is to accept the belief that "you" continue even if the body dies (which doesn't make much sense to me, because "you" are your body). This is because it's known that the biology stops working no matter how much we avoid attackers and consume energy. However, organisms like dogs who are not very intelligent or aware of their inevitable deaths are blissfully ignorant and don't even carry the capacity to know they will die, they only respond instinctively most of the time.

So it seems to me that belief in an afterlife could be a developed survival mechanism for our aware and intelligent species who know that one day, it will be all over no matter what we do. I could even take it a step further and argue that belief in an afterlife actually fits better than with naturalism than supernaturalism.

Or the obv. conclusion your totally rejected to mention. There is actually a afterlife and it is supernatural. You leave this point out because you fear it. You do not want there to be a God and afterlife because if there is you rejected it, cold-heartedly.

Why would I fear an afterlife? I would think complete non-existence after you die is much more of a frightening thought than continual existence. Also, if I feared a negative afterlife I would be a Christian, since they get into Heaven under their beliefs and Atheists definitely go to hell for eternity. So as a rational individual, I would have to be pretty stupid to be an Atheist if I thought for one second that hell actually existed. However, It's reasonable to assume I am a rational intelligent Atheist, thus under that premise, It seems incoherent that I would fear this place.

So your comment there holds no weight I'm afraid.
Rational_Thinker9119
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6/1/2012 6:05:08 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/1/2012 5:30:10 PM, ScottyDouglas wrote:
At 6/1/2012 4:01:28 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
I was just thinking today that belief in an afterlife ties in nicely with the implications of Natural Selection and Evolution. Very intelligent organisms who are aware of their inevitable demise will subconsciously deny death as a survival mechanism. However, the only way for this to happen is to accept the belief that "you" continue even if the body dies (which doesn't make much sense to me, because "you" are your body). This is because it's known that the biology stops working no matter how much we avoid attackers and consume energy. However, organisms like dogs who are not very intelligent or aware of their inevitable deaths are blissfully ignorant and don't even carry the capacity to know they will die, they only respond instinctively most of the time.

So it seems to me that belief in an afterlife could be a developed survival mechanism for our aware and intelligent species who know that one day, it will be all over no matter what we do. I could even take it a step further and argue that belief in an afterlife actually fits better than with naturalism than supernaturalism.

Or the obv. conclusion your totally rejected to mention. There is actually a afterlife and it is supernatural. You leave this point out because you fear it. You do not want there to be a God and afterlife because if there is you rejected it, cold-heartedly.

We as intelligent organisms know that the only way to possibly survive past death is if "we" are not "our bodies" (because we know "our bodies" do not survive). Thus, this belief that "we" are separate from "our bodies" and still survive past biological death clearly seems to be a survival mechanism drummed into us by evolution.

"We don't have bodies; we are bodies." - Christopher Hitchens
ScottyDouglas
Posts: 2,350
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6/1/2012 6:05:38 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Why would anyone fear death then? We all know we will die, it is a certainty, why would you fear it? How can you say you do not fear it but God believers do? But that is not what you say, you say you should fear it more. You should but you do not because you reject the possibility of God.

You seem to be incoherant. Because you reject a possibility that God does exist. You deny billions upon billions of people who experience this in thier lives. This is evidence and facts but why is that not important? Because it does not fit into a thought of life you have previously accepted and by accepting that you prove youself wrong, and that can not happen.

You do fear it, why, because you discuss it.
TheAsylum
ScottyDouglas
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6/1/2012 6:08:06 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
We as intelligent organisms know that the only way to possibly survive past death is if "we" are not "our bodies" (because we know "our bodies" do not survive). Thus, this belief that "we" are separate from "our bodies" and still survive past biological death clearly seems to be a survival mechanism drummed into us by evolution.

Your evidence of this is? survival mechanism, you suppose. Assumptions, assumptions. You reject the possibility that you are denying the truth.

"We don't have bodies; we are bodies." - Christopher Hitchens
^Same differnce there buddy?
TheAsylum
Stephen_Hawkins
Posts: 5,316
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6/1/2012 6:12:21 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/1/2012 6:05:38 PM, ScottyDouglas wrote:
Why would anyone fear death then? We all know we will die, it is a certainty, why would you fear it? How can you say you do not fear it but God believers do? But that is not what you say, you say you should fear it more. You should but you do not because you reject the possibility of God.

You seem to be incoherant (irony). Because you reject a possibility that God does exist. You deny billions upon billions of people who experience this in thier lives. This is evidence and facts but why is that not important? Because it does not fit into a thought of life you have previously accepted and by accepting that you prove youself wrong, and that can not happen.

You do fear it, why, because you discuss it.

Let me give an analogy to explain a severe problem in your thought process. I promote animal welfare. I hate the fact that people eat meat. I am scared for the moral integrity of the future when we keep eating living, breathing things, including that of animals I'd regard as self-conscious people. This is incredibly immoral, and wrong. Yet it is an inevitability that it will happen: it is a practical certainty, short of the world ending, which is worse.

Or another example, I fear for the next election. All the candidates are terrible, yet a candidate has to win. Does this stop the fear?

Also, your rejection of Rational_Thinker's hypothesis is that your alternative exists, and is true, and fingers-in-your-ears approach to alternatives you have is being imposed on everyone else.
Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to be Gay, he'll positively influence the GDP.

Social Contract Theory debate: http://www.debate.org...
Stephen_Hawkins
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6/1/2012 6:13:22 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/1/2012 6:08:06 PM, ScottyDouglas wrote:
We as intelligent organisms know that the only way to possibly survive past death is if "we" are not "our bodies" (because we know "our bodies" do not survive). Thus, this belief that "we" are separate from "our bodies" and still survive past biological death clearly seems to be a survival mechanism drummed into us by evolution.

Your evidence of this is? survival mechanism, you suppose. Assumptions, assumptions. You reject the possibility that you are denying the truth.

Survival Mechanism independent of religion, or biology, is confirmed. Psychology has it repeatedly proven. You can deny evidence all you like, but the survival element of humanity is certain.
Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to be Gay, he'll positively influence the GDP.

Social Contract Theory debate: http://www.debate.org...
Rational_Thinker9119
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6/1/2012 6:20:37 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/1/2012 6:05:38 PM, ScottyDouglas wrote:
Why would anyone fear death then? We all know we will die, it is a certainty, why would you fear it? How can you say you do not fear it but God believers do? But that is not what you say, you say you should fear it more. You should but you do not because you reject the possibility of God.

My argument doesn't necessitate fear per say, it necessitates our nature to survive under any means necessary (even if it means, believing in things that are not true in order for a higher probability of survival). What I mean by it's in our nature to survive, is even if you try to hold your breath and try to kill yourself it won't work because you can only hold your breath until you go unconscious, and then you unconsciously (biologically) regenerate yourself and breath fine again. You could try to hold a scolding hot pan to scar yourself the worst you can, but our our biological configurations will send signals to other areas that this is not good for survival. So I'm not saying that people who believe in the afterlife necessarily consciously "fear" hell, just that this belief stems from evolutionary mechanisms to continue survival once it's known that death is unavoidable.

Also, to most people, death is a scary thought (not if you believe in an afterlife though).


You seem to be incoherant. Because you reject a possibility that God does exist. You deny billions upon billions of people who experience this in thier lives. This is evidence and facts but why is that not important? Because it does not fit into a thought of life you have previously accepted and by accepting that you prove youself wrong, and that can not happen.

You do fear it, why, because you discuss it.

I do not necessarily reject the epistemic possibility that God exists. Also,a large number of people claiming individual experiences of the supernatural throughout time doesn't mean anything and is not evidence, people have been claiming these types of things for thousands of years.

Also, I debate 911 conspiracy theorists just as much as theists but I don't fear 911 (it already happened). I simply like debating issues I disagree with, I'm a very opinionated individual.
ScottyDouglas
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6/1/2012 6:28:55 PM
Posted: 4 years ago

Or another example, I fear for the next election. All the candidates are terrible, yet a candidate has to win. Does this stop the fear?

Is this really fear or concern?>

Also, your rejection of Rational_Thinker's hypothesis is that your alternative exists, and is true, and fingers-in-your-ears approach to alternatives you have is being imposed on everyone else.

I am stating what I said is true. But I offer no hypothesis. I simply offer rejection of other alternatives to his claim. To deny these alternatives leaves huge gaps in his proposal. His proposal is relied of certainity evolution of species of billions of years happened. There is possibilities it did not. He denies these. *Hince your and his flaw.
TheAsylum
ScottyDouglas
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6/1/2012 6:30:57 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Your evidence of this is? survival mechanism, you suppose. Assumptions, assumptions. You reject the possibility that you are denying the truth.

Survival Mechanism independent of religion, or biology, is confirmed. Psychology has it repeatedly proven. You can deny evidence all you like, but the survival element of humanity is certain.
Who denies that? I did not. The topic is evolution and afterlife. not does man have survivial instincts.
TheAsylum
ScottyDouglas
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6/1/2012 6:34:08 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
. Also,a large number of people claiming individual experiences of the supernatural throughout time doesn't mean anything and is not evidence, people have been claiming these types of things for thousands of years.

You think since this discussion is about your afterlife, ^ those thousands of years all the way until today would ring some bells.

Also, I debate 911 conspiracy theorists just as much as theists but I don't fear 911 (it already happened). I simply like debating issues I disagree with, I'm a very opinionated individual.

I respect that. me too. =]
TheAsylum
Ren
Posts: 7,102
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6/1/2012 9:20:07 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/1/2012 4:01:28 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
I was just thinking today that belief in an afterlife ties in nicely with the implications of Natural Selection and Evolution. Very intelligent organisms who are aware of their inevitable demise will subconsciously deny death as a survival mechanism. However, the only way for this to happen is to accept the belief that "you" continue even if the body dies (which doesn't make much sense to me, because "you" are your body). This is because it's known that the biology stops working no matter how much we avoid attackers and consume energy. However, organisms like dogs who are not very intelligent or aware of their inevitable deaths are blissfully ignorant and don't even carry the capacity to know they will die, they only respond instinctively most of the time.

So it seems to me that belief in an afterlife could be a developed survival mechanism for our aware and intelligent species who know that one day, it will be all over no matter what we do. I could even take it a step further and argue that belief in an afterlife actually fits better than with naturalism than supernaturalism.

This is logical from the vantage that neural processes are synonymous with consciousness. However, this is not a clear-cut, or unanimously established position:

http://www.horizonresearch.org...

Therefore, I'd consider it a valid theory, but not a seamless one. It wouldn't surprise me at all to find out that there's more to consciousness than neurological faculties.
tarkovsky
Posts: 212
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6/2/2012 12:14:04 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
With respect to evolution I believe the theory ultimately fails.

A survival mechanism is such that it will actually ensure that the organism doesn't die. That is to say, those organisms that developed survival mechanisms actually survived and went on to procreate passing on the genes which would develop the very same behavior.

The belief that when you death isn't the end seems to promote just the opposite, and with good evidence. People blow themselves up believing they will be rewarded in some possible afterlife etc. etc. The belief that this life isn't all that there is would encourage some to not fear death. Death doesn't present finality, but merely transition.

Once again this is distinct from a survival mechanism as such things actually keep organisms alive. If I see a tiger in the wild, I assume that he is going to try to eat me so my body naturally has a fight or flight response, which, in turn, could actually save my life. If I assume that, in death I will meet a more favorable state of affairs than I currently have, then it seems reasonable to believe that I wouldn't fear death and might even welcome it.

Now, should you mean a natural tendency for humanity to feel separate and preponderant over the rest of nature I'd say sure.
Rational_Thinker9119
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6/2/2012 3:55:16 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/2/2012 12:14:04 AM, tarkovsky wrote:
With respect to evolution I believe the theory ultimately fails.

A survival mechanism is such that it will actually ensure that the organism doesn't die. That is to say, those organisms that developed survival mechanisms actually survived and went on to procreate passing on the genes which would develop the very same behavior.

The belief that when you death isn't the end seems to promote just the opposite, and with good evidence. People blow themselves up believing they will be rewarded in some possible afterlife etc. etc. The belief that this life isn't all that there is would encourage some to not fear death. Death doesn't present finality, but merely transition.

Once again this is distinct from a survival mechanism as such things actually keep organisms alive. If I see a tiger in the wild, I assume that he is going to try to eat me so my body naturally has a fight or flight response, which, in turn, could actually save my life. If I assume that, in death I will meet a more favorable state of affairs than I currently have, then it seems reasonable to believe that I wouldn't fear death and might even welcome it.

Now, should you mean a natural tendency for humanity to feel separate and preponderant over the rest of nature I'd say sure.

We aren't all powerful as biological entities, so our bodies cannot always make sure that we survive, sometimes it just tries. I could hang myself, my body will fight it, but it will fail and I will die. So you are wrong that the evolution actually ensures that the organisms survives for sure. Thus, it still makes perfect sense that the afterlife stems from evolution because it may raise the chance of survival past death or make survival easier in the real world buy maintaining this belief to keep going.

Once the brain gains knowledge that death is inevitable, belief in an afterlife almost seems like the default position after that to raise the chance of continued survival.
tarkovsky
Posts: 212
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6/2/2012 9:10:05 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/2/2012 3:55:16 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:

We aren't all powerful as biological entities, so our bodies cannot always make sure that we survive, sometimes it just tries. I could hang myself, my body will fight it, but it will fail and I will die. So you are wrong that the evolution actually ensures that the organisms survives for sure. Thus, it still makes perfect sense that the afterlife stems from evolution because it may raise the chance of survival past death or make survival easier in the real world buy maintaining this belief to keep going.

Once the brain gains knowledge that death is inevitable, belief in an afterlife almost seems like the default position after that to raise the chance of continued survival.

Sure, a survival mechanism doesn't guarantee survival but it enables an organism to participate in its own survival. Without any survival mechanism whatsoever, the survival of an organism would depend on chance and caprice. The point here is that survival mechanisms can actually preserve the life of an organism. The belief in a favorable state of affairs does no such thing and, as I argued, can actually encourage just the opposite.

I don't totally disagree with what you're saying , I'm simply remarking that maybe it isn't quite correct to think of this as a survival mechanism. I understand in a sense that man is driven to survival and driven so desperately that he may come to believe that he will even survive death. I don't disagree that this is commensurable with a naturalistic philosophy, only not quite as rigidly as you may think it does.
Kleptin
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6/3/2012 11:04:22 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/1/2012 4:01:28 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
I was just thinking today that belief in an afterlife ties in nicely with the implications of Natural Selection and Evolution. Very intelligent organisms who are aware of their inevitable demise will subconsciously deny death as a survival mechanism. However, the only way for this to happen is to accept the belief that "you" continue even if the body dies (which doesn't make much sense to me, because "you" are your body). This is because it's known that the biology stops working no matter how much we avoid attackers and consume energy. However, organisms like dogs who are not very intelligent or aware of their inevitable deaths are blissfully ignorant and don't even carry the capacity to know they will die, they only respond instinctively most of the time.

So it seems to me that belief in an afterlife could be a developed survival mechanism for our aware and intelligent species who know that one day, it will be all over no matter what we do. I could even take it a step further and argue that belief in an afterlife actually fits better than with naturalism than supernaturalism.

At 6/1/2012 4:01:28 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
I was just thinking today that belief in an afterlife ties in nicely with the implications of Natural Selection and Evolution. Very intelligent organisms who are aware of their inevitable demise will subconsciously deny death as a survival mechanism. However, the only way for this to happen is to accept the belief that "you" continue even if the body dies (which doesn't make much sense to me, because "you" are your body). This is because it's known that the biology stops working no matter how much we avoid attackers and consume energy. However, organisms like dogs who are not very intelligent or aware of their inevitable deaths are blissfully ignorant and don't even carry the capacity to know they will die, they only respond instinctively most of the time.

So it seems to me that belief in an afterlife could be a developed survival mechanism for our aware and intelligent species who know that one day, it will be all over no matter what we do. I could even take it a step further and argue that belief in an afterlife actually fits better than with naturalism than supernaturalism.

I've toyed around with this idea too, but rejected it on the grounds that it couldn't have come about by way of natural selection.

It's far more likely that it is purely a psychosocial outgrowth.
Survival mechanism: No.
Psychological defense mechanism: Yes
: At 5/2/2010 2:43:54 PM, innomen wrote:
It isn't about finding a theory, philosophy or doctrine and thinking it's the answer, but a practical application of one's experiences that is the answer.

: At 10/28/2010 2:40:07 PM, jharry wrote: I have already been given the greatest Gift that anyone could ever hope for [Life], I would consider myself selfish if I expected anything more.
TheOrator
Posts: 172
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6/3/2012 3:26:29 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Hmm, I had accepted that the belief of an afterlife could have arisen out of a need for a benefit vs punishment case to help persuade others to accept Christianity, but I hadn't considered it in the Darwinistic sense. Good thinking.
My legend begins in the 12th century