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Atheists: is there an afterlife?

Benshapiro
Posts: 3,966
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1/14/2015 9:56:57 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I don't see any reason to deny the existence of an afterlife as an atheist.

Humanity came into being. Your consciousness began to exist. What makes you so certain that your consciousness won't begin to exist again from a state of non-existence when you die? Maybe your consciousness will return in some other form, perhaps? Maybe in a different universe?

I just don't see any reason to reject the existence of an afterlife.
Burzmali
Posts: 1,310
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1/14/2015 10:05:33 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/14/2015 9:56:57 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I don't see any reason to deny the existence of an afterlife as an atheist.

Humanity came into being. Your consciousness began to exist. What makes you so certain that your consciousness won't begin to exist again from a state of non-existence when you die? Maybe your consciousness will return in some other form, perhaps? Maybe in a different universe?

I just don't see any reason to reject the existence of an afterlife.

Atheists can believe in an afterlife, so long as they don't believe in a god. There are atheists who believe in ghosts. There are atheists who believe in reincarnation (my father-in-law is one such example).

Anyway, as to your question, I don't believe in an afterlife for the same reason I don't believe in a god: lack of convincing evidence. I'm not certain that there is no afterlife, I just have no reason to believe that the aspects of me that make me who I am will continue after death.
DanneJeRusse
Posts: 12,622
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1/14/2015 10:19:21 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/14/2015 9:56:57 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I don't see any reason to deny the existence of an afterlife as an atheist.

Humanity came into being. Your consciousness began to exist. What makes you so certain that your consciousness won't begin to exist again from a state of non-existence when you die? Maybe your consciousness will return in some other form, perhaps? Maybe in a different universe?

I just don't see any reason to reject the existence of an afterlife.

Our consciousness is based on our brains, so most likely that will disappear once our brain dies.

I see no reason to believe one way or the other.
Marrying a 6 year old and waiting until she reaches puberty and maturity before having consensual sex is better than walking up to
a stranger in a bar and proceeding to have relations with no valid proof of the intent of the person. Muhammad wins. ~ Fatihah
If they don't want to be killed then they have to subdue to the Islamic laws. - Uncung
Without God, you are lower than sh!t. ~ SpiritandTruth
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,280
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1/14/2015 10:45:51 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/14/2015 9:56:57 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I don't see any reason to deny the existence of an afterlife as an atheist.

Humanity came into being. Your consciousness began to exist. What makes you so certain that your consciousness won't begin to exist again from a state of non-existence when you die? Maybe your consciousness will return in some other form, perhaps? Maybe in a different universe?

I just don't see any reason to reject the existence of an afterlife.

I see a huge link between consciousness and the human brain. Remove or damage parts of the brain, and consciousness is affected. We can predict which aspects will be affected in what ways with some reliability. Could there be a 'ghost in the machine'? Possibly. I just don't see any reason to believe that there is, or that it 'goes' anywhere after you die. Who's to say that the 'ghost' doesn't just sit in your skull with rotting brain matter until your bones are ground to dust, staring at the back of a bleached and crumbling skull? Or that the 'afterlife' isn't the last few synapses fired being played over and over again by the 'ghost' for all eternity like a broken record? I just don't see any reason for any incorporeal component to be reborn, or make a visit to Elysium, Valhalla, or Heaven and Hell.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
Mhykiel
Posts: 5,987
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1/14/2015 11:00:34 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/14/2015 10:45:51 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 1/14/2015 9:56:57 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I don't see any reason to deny the existence of an afterlife as an atheist.

Humanity came into being. Your consciousness began to exist. What makes you so certain that your consciousness won't begin to exist again from a state of non-existence when you die? Maybe your consciousness will return in some other form, perhaps? Maybe in a different universe?

I just don't see any reason to reject the existence of an afterlife.

I see a huge link between consciousness and the human brain. Remove or damage parts of the brain, and consciousness is affected. We can predict which aspects will be affected in what ways with some reliability. Could there be a 'ghost in the machine'? Possibly. I just don't see any reason to believe that there is, or that it 'goes' anywhere after you die. Who's to say that the 'ghost' doesn't just sit in your skull with rotting brain matter until your bones are ground to dust, staring at the back of a bleached and crumbling skull? Or that the 'afterlife' isn't the last few synapses fired being played over and over again by the 'ghost' for all eternity like a broken record? I just don't see any reason for any incorporeal component to be reborn, or make a visit to Elysium, Valhalla, or Heaven and Hell.

Brain death doesn't appear to be the end.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...

And a Near death experience from a woman recovering from hypothermic cardiac resuscitation.
http://www.near-death.com...

How might one explain these occurrences without the soul?
Burzmali
Posts: 1,310
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1/14/2015 11:05:55 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/14/2015 11:00:34 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
At 1/14/2015 10:45:51 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 1/14/2015 9:56:57 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I don't see any reason to deny the existence of an afterlife as an atheist.

Humanity came into being. Your consciousness began to exist. What makes you so certain that your consciousness won't begin to exist again from a state of non-existence when you die? Maybe your consciousness will return in some other form, perhaps? Maybe in a different universe?

I just don't see any reason to reject the existence of an afterlife.

I see a huge link between consciousness and the human brain. Remove or damage parts of the brain, and consciousness is affected. We can predict which aspects will be affected in what ways with some reliability. Could there be a 'ghost in the machine'? Possibly. I just don't see any reason to believe that there is, or that it 'goes' anywhere after you die. Who's to say that the 'ghost' doesn't just sit in your skull with rotting brain matter until your bones are ground to dust, staring at the back of a bleached and crumbling skull? Or that the 'afterlife' isn't the last few synapses fired being played over and over again by the 'ghost' for all eternity like a broken record? I just don't see any reason for any incorporeal component to be reborn, or make a visit to Elysium, Valhalla, or Heaven and Hell.

Brain death doesn't appear to be the end.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...

And a Near death experience from a woman recovering from hypothermic cardiac resuscitation.
http://www.near-death.com...

How might one explain these occurrences without the soul?

Most likely, we don't understand what constitutes "brain dead" as well as we think we do.
Mhykiel
Posts: 5,987
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1/14/2015 11:09:24 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/14/2015 11:05:55 PM, Burzmali wrote:
At 1/14/2015 11:00:34 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
At 1/14/2015 10:45:51 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 1/14/2015 9:56:57 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I don't see any reason to deny the existence of an afterlife as an atheist.

Humanity came into being. Your consciousness began to exist. What makes you so certain that your consciousness won't begin to exist again from a state of non-existence when you die? Maybe your consciousness will return in some other form, perhaps? Maybe in a different universe?

I just don't see any reason to reject the existence of an afterlife.

I see a huge link between consciousness and the human brain. Remove or damage parts of the brain, and consciousness is affected. We can predict which aspects will be affected in what ways with some reliability. Could there be a 'ghost in the machine'? Possibly. I just don't see any reason to believe that there is, or that it 'goes' anywhere after you die. Who's to say that the 'ghost' doesn't just sit in your skull with rotting brain matter until your bones are ground to dust, staring at the back of a bleached and crumbling skull? Or that the 'afterlife' isn't the last few synapses fired being played over and over again by the 'ghost' for all eternity like a broken record? I just don't see any reason for any incorporeal component to be reborn, or make a visit to Elysium, Valhalla, or Heaven and Hell.

Brain death doesn't appear to be the end.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...

And a Near death experience from a woman recovering from hypothermic cardiac resuscitation.
http://www.near-death.com...

How might one explain these occurrences without the soul?

Most likely, we don't understand what constitutes "brain dead" as well as we think we do.

So no chance there is something immaterial residual till completely dead.
Burzmali
Posts: 1,310
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1/14/2015 11:15:48 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/14/2015 11:09:24 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
At 1/14/2015 11:05:55 PM, Burzmali wrote:
At 1/14/2015 11:00:34 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
At 1/14/2015 10:45:51 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 1/14/2015 9:56:57 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I don't see any reason to deny the existence of an afterlife as an atheist.

Humanity came into being. Your consciousness began to exist. What makes you so certain that your consciousness won't begin to exist again from a state of non-existence when you die? Maybe your consciousness will return in some other form, perhaps? Maybe in a different universe?

I just don't see any reason to reject the existence of an afterlife.

I see a huge link between consciousness and the human brain. Remove or damage parts of the brain, and consciousness is affected. We can predict which aspects will be affected in what ways with some reliability. Could there be a 'ghost in the machine'? Possibly. I just don't see any reason to believe that there is, or that it 'goes' anywhere after you die. Who's to say that the 'ghost' doesn't just sit in your skull with rotting brain matter until your bones are ground to dust, staring at the back of a bleached and crumbling skull? Or that the 'afterlife' isn't the last few synapses fired being played over and over again by the 'ghost' for all eternity like a broken record? I just don't see any reason for any incorporeal component to be reborn, or make a visit to Elysium, Valhalla, or Heaven and Hell.

Brain death doesn't appear to be the end.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...

And a Near death experience from a woman recovering from hypothermic cardiac resuscitation.
http://www.near-death.com...

How might one explain these occurrences without the soul?

Most likely, we don't understand what constitutes "brain dead" as well as we think we do.

So no chance there is something immaterial residual till completely dead.

It's possible. It's also possible that invisible pixies helped those people recover. I prefer to acknowledge that we just don't know rather than entertain unevidenced assertions, though.
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,280
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1/14/2015 11:17:09 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/14/2015 11:00:34 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
At 1/14/2015 10:45:51 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 1/14/2015 9:56:57 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I don't see any reason to deny the existence of an afterlife as an atheist.

Humanity came into being. Your consciousness began to exist. What makes you so certain that your consciousness won't begin to exist again from a state of non-existence when you die? Maybe your consciousness will return in some other form, perhaps? Maybe in a different universe?

I just don't see any reason to reject the existence of an afterlife.

I see a huge link between consciousness and the human brain. Remove or damage parts of the brain, and consciousness is affected. We can predict which aspects will be affected in what ways with some reliability. Could there be a 'ghost in the machine'? Possibly. I just don't see any reason to believe that there is, or that it 'goes' anywhere after you die. Who's to say that the 'ghost' doesn't just sit in your skull with rotting brain matter until your bones are ground to dust, staring at the back of a bleached and crumbling skull? Or that the 'afterlife' isn't the last few synapses fired being played over and over again by the 'ghost' for all eternity like a broken record? I just don't see any reason for any incorporeal component to be reborn, or make a visit to Elysium, Valhalla, or Heaven and Hell.

Brain death doesn't appear to be the end.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...

A faulty diagnosis. There's not a perfectly clear positive/negative test for brain death, and it can happen in stages. The doctor made a mistake.

And a Near death experience from a woman recovering from hypothermic cardiac resuscitation.
http://www.near-death.com...

How might one explain these occurrences without the soul?

She wasn't truly dead, one of the requirements of death is irreversible brain death. This could be similar to a dream, or just some weird misfiring. Or she could be making it up. I honestly don't know, as there isn't any sort of controlled study. I'm not really opposed to the idea vehemently, I just don't see conclusive evidence pointing towards any one afterlife, or an actual afterlife at all.

I read the Bardo Thodol once, and thought that, when all of the symbolism and what it really meant were taken into account, it was the most well-thought out an interesting of all of the afterlives, though it's more of an in-between life. I wouldn't be upset or anything if I heard a natural D upon dying, or found myself in the first of the transitory Bardos; if anything I'd be intrigued. I just don't see the point in letting what would happen then, if anything, affect my life now.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
Beastt
Posts: 5,135
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1/14/2015 11:24:08 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/14/2015 9:56:57 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I don't see any reason to deny the existence of an afterlife as an atheist.

Humanity came into being. Your consciousness began to exist. What makes you so certain that your consciousness won't begin to exist again from a state of non-existence when you die? Maybe your consciousness will return in some other form, perhaps? Maybe in a different universe?

I just don't see any reason to reject the existence of an afterlife.

Get yourself a $100 bill. Set it on fire and let it burn.

Let me know when it comes back.

Consciousness manifests from the brain - a physical organ. Let me know of all of the confirmed examples you can think of, for a disembodied consciousness.
"If we believe absurdities we shall commit atrocities." -- Voltaire
dtaylor971
Posts: 1,907
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1/14/2015 11:30:34 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/14/2015 11:24:08 PM, Beastt wrote:
At 1/14/2015 9:56:57 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I don't see any reason to deny the existence of an afterlife as an atheist.

Humanity came into being. Your consciousness began to exist. What makes you so certain that your consciousness won't begin to exist again from a state of non-existence when you die? Maybe your consciousness will return in some other form, perhaps? Maybe in a different universe?

I just don't see any reason to reject the existence of an afterlife.

Get yourself a $100 bill. Set it on fire and let it burn.

Let me know when it comes back.

Consciousness manifests from the brain - a physical organ. Let me know of all of the confirmed examples you can think of, for a disembodied consciousness.

He's smart.
"I don't know why gays want to marry, I have spent the last 25 years wishing I wasn't allowed to." -Sadolite
Benshapiro
Posts: 3,966
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1/14/2015 11:32:55 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/14/2015 11:24:08 PM, Beastt wrote:
At 1/14/2015 9:56:57 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I don't see any reason to deny the existence of an afterlife as an atheist.

Humanity came into being. Your consciousness began to exist. What makes you so certain that your consciousness won't begin to exist again from a state of non-existence when you die? Maybe your consciousness will return in some other form, perhaps? Maybe in a different universe?

I just don't see any reason to reject the existence of an afterlife.

Get yourself a $100 bill. Set it on fire and let it burn.

Let me know when it comes back.

Consciousness manifests from the brain - a physical organ. Let me know of all of the confirmed examples you can think of, for a disembodied consciousness.

Your consciousness began to exist from a state of nonexistence. What makes you certain that your consciousness won't begin to exist from a state of nonexistence again (at death) once you die? For all you know, you could be reincarnated into a different person or into an entirely different universe.

If the $100 bill began to exist from nonexistence then burnt up, why would I discount the possibility of it returning?
jodybirdy
Posts: 2,089
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1/14/2015 11:35:37 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/14/2015 11:00:34 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
At 1/14/2015 10:45:51 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 1/14/2015 9:56:57 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I don't see any reason to deny the existence of an afterlife as an atheist.

Humanity came into being. Your consciousness began to exist. What makes you so certain that your consciousness won't begin to exist again from a state of non-existence when you die? Maybe your consciousness will return in some other form, perhaps? Maybe in a different universe?

I just don't see any reason to reject the existence of an afterlife.

I see a huge link between consciousness and the human brain. Remove or damage parts of the brain, and consciousness is affected. We can predict which aspects will be affected in what ways with some reliability. Could there be a 'ghost in the machine'? Possibly. I just don't see any reason to believe that there is, or that it 'goes' anywhere after you die. Who's to say that the 'ghost' doesn't just sit in your skull with rotting brain matter until your bones are ground to dust, staring at the back of a bleached and crumbling skull? Or that the 'afterlife' isn't the last few synapses fired being played over and over again by the 'ghost' for all eternity like a broken record? I just don't see any reason for any incorporeal component to be reborn, or make a visit to Elysium, Valhalla, or Heaven and Hell.

Brain death doesn't appear to be the end.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...

This just means he wasn't brain dead. Something most neurologists admit that we still have a lot to learn about the brain. The same thing happened with my father when he was in a coma. They thought he was close to brain dead as a result of oxygen and would never wake up. He woke up after week on a feeding tube and ventilator, had all of his faculties except for the temporary lack motor skills which is common with ARDS.

And a Near death experience from a woman recovering from hypothermic cardiac resuscitation.
http://www.near-death.com...

And this along with the above link is proof that we don't know for sure about what constitutes brain dead. The one and only time I was placed on anesthesia I heard everything that was going on in the surgery. Not only that, but with the eventual sleep came vivid and strange dreams. Something else to remember is that they were actually operating on her brain and that might cause some of the sensations she had. The out of body experience may have been a drug induced dream.

How might one explain these occurrences without the soul?

These occurrences do not prove that there is a soul. However, I'm not saying we don't have a soul, just that we have no evidence outside of patients undergoing the neurological trauma of near death. The human brain is still a mystery in a lot of ways. Dreams are a part of the normal neurological process.
A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral."
jodybirdy
Posts: 2,089
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1/14/2015 11:38:53 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/14/2015 9:56:57 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I don't see any reason to deny the existence of an afterlife as an atheist.

Humanity came into being. Your consciousness began to exist. What makes you so certain that your consciousness won't begin to exist again from a state of non-existence when you die? Maybe your consciousness will return in some other form, perhaps? Maybe in a different universe?

I just don't see any reason to reject the existence of an afterlife.

Maybe. I guess we don't know for sure until we're dead and then we can't tell anyone if there is. ;)
A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral."
Beastt
Posts: 5,135
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1/14/2015 11:45:56 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/14/2015 11:32:55 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 1/14/2015 11:24:08 PM, Beastt wrote:
At 1/14/2015 9:56:57 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I don't see any reason to deny the existence of an afterlife as an atheist.

Humanity came into being. Your consciousness began to exist. What makes you so certain that your consciousness won't begin to exist again from a state of non-existence when you die? Maybe your consciousness will return in some other form, perhaps? Maybe in a different universe?

I just don't see any reason to reject the existence of an afterlife.

Get yourself a $100 bill. Set it on fire and let it burn.

Let me know when it comes back.

Consciousness manifests from the brain - a physical organ. Let me know of all of the confirmed examples you can think of, for a disembodied consciousness.

Your consciousness began to exist from a state of nonexistence. What makes you certain that your consciousness won't begin to exist from a state of nonexistence again (at death) once you die? For all you know, you could be reincarnated into a different person or into an entirely different universe.

If the $100 bill began to exist from nonexistence then burnt up, why would I discount the possibility of it returning?

Consciousness is a state of the brain. It requires the brain. Even if you could kill a brain, let it decompose, and then somehow reform into a brain again, it wouldn't contain the same conscious state because that relies on the state of the various neurons in the brain. Once it decays, those states change. And they could only reform from being formed identically to begin with, and then undergo all of the very same diseases, experiences, neutrino bombardments, parents, siblings, schools, etc.

States can change, but nothing actually comes into existence from non-existence. To speak of the consciousness coming into existence is to misconstrue the nature of consciousness. Do you think the "running" state of your car's engine came into existence from non-existence?

Running is to an engine, as consciousness is to a brain. The brain doesn't come into existence from nothing, nor does the motor in your car. We simply have names for various states.
"If we believe absurdities we shall commit atrocities." -- Voltaire
Benshapiro
Posts: 3,966
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1/15/2015 12:05:56 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/14/2015 11:38:53 PM, jodybirdy wrote:
At 1/14/2015 9:56:57 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I don't see any reason to deny the existence of an afterlife as an atheist.

Humanity came into being. Your consciousness began to exist. What makes you so certain that your consciousness won't begin to exist again from a state of non-existence when you die? Maybe your consciousness will return in some other form, perhaps? Maybe in a different universe?

I just don't see any reason to reject the existence of an afterlife.

Maybe. I guess we don't know for sure until we're dead and then we can't tell anyone if there is. ;)

Yep, that's the catch. We'll all find out someday though!
Benshapiro
Posts: 3,966
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1/15/2015 12:13:20 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/14/2015 11:45:56 PM, Beastt wrote:
At 1/14/2015 11:32:55 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 1/14/2015 11:24:08 PM, Beastt wrote:
At 1/14/2015 9:56:57 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I don't see any reason to deny the existence of an afterlife as an atheist.

Humanity came into being. Your consciousness began to exist. What makes you so certain that your consciousness won't begin to exist again from a state of non-existence when you die? Maybe your consciousness will return in some other form, perhaps? Maybe in a different universe?

I just don't see any reason to reject the existence of an afterlife.

Get yourself a $100 bill. Set it on fire and let it burn.

Let me know when it comes back.

Consciousness manifests from the brain - a physical organ. Let me know of all of the confirmed examples you can think of, for a disembodied consciousness.

Your consciousness began to exist from a state of nonexistence. What makes you certain that your consciousness won't begin to exist from a state of nonexistence again (at death) once you die? For all you know, you could be reincarnated into a different person or into an entirely different universe.

If the $100 bill began to exist from nonexistence then burnt up, why would I discount the possibility of it returning?

Consciousness is a state of the brain. It requires the brain. Even if you could kill a brain, let it decompose, and then somehow reform into a brain again, it wouldn't contain the same conscious state because that relies on the state of the various neurons in the brain. Once it decays, those states change. And they could only reform from being formed identically to begin with, and then undergo all of the very same diseases, experiences, neutrino bombardments, parents, siblings, schools, etc.

States can change, but nothing actually comes into existence from non-existence. To speak of the consciousness coming into existence is to misconstrue the nature of consciousness. Do you think the "running" state of your car's engine came into existence from non-existence?

Running is to an engine, as consciousness is to a brain. The brain doesn't come into existence from nothing, nor does the motor in your car. We simply have names for various states.

Whether consciousnessness is derived from the brain or not is highly contestable.

Why do people have such vivid memories of their near death experience during unconsciousness? Why doesn't this same thing happen when we faint?

If "consciousness" never began to exist, it has always existed. Correct?
jodybirdy
Posts: 2,089
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1/15/2015 12:20:54 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/15/2015 12:05:56 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 1/14/2015 11:38:53 PM, jodybirdy wrote:
At 1/14/2015 9:56:57 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I don't see any reason to deny the existence of an afterlife as an atheist.

Humanity came into being. Your consciousness began to exist. What makes you so certain that your consciousness won't begin to exist again from a state of non-existence when you die? Maybe your consciousness will return in some other form, perhaps? Maybe in a different universe?

I just don't see any reason to reject the existence of an afterlife.

Maybe. I guess we don't know for sure until we're dead and then we can't tell anyone if there is. ;)

Yep, that's the catch. We'll all find out someday though!

Near death experiences have a scientific explanation. Wishful thinking often leads to being wrong. This doesn't say there isn't a soul. It just makes near death experiences less mysterious.
http://www.scientificamerican.com...
A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral."
Beastt
Posts: 5,135
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1/15/2015 12:23:23 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/15/2015 12:13:20 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 1/14/2015 11:45:56 PM, Beastt wrote:
At 1/14/2015 11:32:55 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 1/14/2015 11:24:08 PM, Beastt wrote:
At 1/14/2015 9:56:57 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I don't see any reason to deny the existence of an afterlife as an atheist.

Humanity came into being. Your consciousness began to exist. What makes you so certain that your consciousness won't begin to exist again from a state of non-existence when you die? Maybe your consciousness will return in some other form, perhaps? Maybe in a different universe?

I just don't see any reason to reject the existence of an afterlife.

Get yourself a $100 bill. Set it on fire and let it burn.

Let me know when it comes back.

Consciousness manifests from the brain - a physical organ. Let me know of all of the confirmed examples you can think of, for a disembodied consciousness.

Your consciousness began to exist from a state of nonexistence. What makes you certain that your consciousness won't begin to exist from a state of nonexistence again (at death) once you die? For all you know, you could be reincarnated into a different person or into an entirely different universe.

If the $100 bill began to exist from nonexistence then burnt up, why would I discount the possibility of it returning?

Consciousness is a state of the brain. It requires the brain. Even if you could kill a brain, let it decompose, and then somehow reform into a brain again, it wouldn't contain the same conscious state because that relies on the state of the various neurons in the brain. Once it decays, those states change. And they could only reform from being formed identically to begin with, and then undergo all of the very same diseases, experiences, neutrino bombardments, parents, siblings, schools, etc.

States can change, but nothing actually comes into existence from non-existence. To speak of the consciousness coming into existence is to misconstrue the nature of consciousness. Do you think the "running" state of your car's engine came into existence from non-existence?

Running is to an engine, as consciousness is to a brain. The brain doesn't come into existence from nothing, nor does the motor in your car. We simply have names for various states.

Whether consciousnessness is derived from the brain or not is highly contestable.
Not on any rational grounds. If we want to render someone unconscious, we can strike the back of the skull, just above the foramen magnum... rendering the person unconscious via physical trauma to the brain stem. Or, we can inject them with chemicals which are capable of blocking the receptors for various neurotransmitters in the brain. In fact, every system of control we have over consciousness, achieves it's effect by affecting the brain. One could argue that the kidneys have nothing to do with urine either but the argument isn't rational.

Why do people have such vivid memories of their near death experience during unconsciousness? Why doesn't this same thing happen when we faint?
Fainting is usually a very fast transition from consciousness to unconsciousness. There isn't any lingering in a state of hypoxia as with an NDE. And when we induce an NDE with an injection of ketamine (to block glutamate receptors), they have the same vivid memories as they do from a non-induced NDE.

If "consciousness" never began to exist, it has always existed. Correct?
To say it exists or doesn't exist is to demonstrate a lack of understanding as to what it is. Would you say that the cold in your freezer "exists" and previously didn't exist? It's simply an alteration of energy states. The molecules which are cold (less energetic), or warm (more energetic), don't transition from existence to non-existence. When you start the freezer, it begins lowering the energy state. When we reach a given state, we call that "frozen". The frozen didn't come into being from nothing, nor does it cease to exist because it's only a state we're describing. And states are simply a means to describe physical things which never come into existence, and never cease to exist.
"If we believe absurdities we shall commit atrocities." -- Voltaire
intellectuallyprimitive
Posts: 1,000
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1/15/2015 12:34:46 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/14/2015 9:56:57 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I don't see any reason to deny the existence of an afterlife as an atheist.
Conversely, do you see a reason TO believe in the existence of an afterlife?
Humanity came into being. Your consciousness began to exist. What makes you so certain that your consciousness won't begin to exist again from a state of non-existence when you die? Maybe your consciousness will return in some other form, perhaps? Maybe in a different universe?
Yes, as the evidence suggests, humanity developed over a span of millions of years, eventually developing our consciousness as well. Consciousness is a byproduct of the brain, therefore ceases to function as soon as the brain terminates it's function. Is there evidence to suggest that a consciousness is capable to operate excluding a brain as a foundation?
I just don't see any reason to reject the existence of an afterlife.
Benshapiro
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1/15/2015 12:46:15 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/15/2015 12:23:23 AM, Beastt wrote:
At 1/15/2015 12:13:20 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 1/14/2015 11:45:56 PM, Beastt wrote:
At 1/14/2015 11:32:55 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 1/14/2015 11:24:08 PM, Beastt wrote:
At 1/14/2015 9:56:57 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I don't see any reason to deny the existence of an afterlife as an atheist.

Humanity came into being. Your consciousness began to exist. What makes you so certain that your consciousness won't begin to exist again from a state of non-existence when you die? Maybe your consciousness will return in some other form, perhaps? Maybe in a different universe?

I just don't see any reason to reject the existence of an afterlife.

Get yourself a $100 bill. Set it on fire and let it burn.

Let me know when it comes back.

Consciousness manifests from the brain - a physical organ. Let me know of all of the confirmed examples you can think of, for a disembodied consciousness.

Your consciousness began to exist from a state of nonexistence. What makes you certain that your consciousness won't begin to exist from a state of nonexistence again (at death) once you die? For all you know, you could be reincarnated into a different person or into an entirely different universe.

If the $100 bill began to exist from nonexistence then burnt up, why would I discount the possibility of it returning?

Consciousness is a state of the brain. It requires the brain. Even if you could kill a brain, let it decompose, and then somehow reform into a brain again, it wouldn't contain the same conscious state because that relies on the state of the various neurons in the brain. Once it decays, those states change. And they could only reform from being formed identically to begin with, and then undergo all of the very same diseases, experiences, neutrino bombardments, parents, siblings, schools, etc.

States can change, but nothing actually comes into existence from non-existence. To speak of the consciousness coming into existence is to misconstrue the nature of consciousness. Do you think the "running" state of your car's engine came into existence from non-existence?

Running is to an engine, as consciousness is to a brain. The brain doesn't come into existence from nothing, nor does the motor in your car. We simply have names for various states.

Whether consciousnessness is derived from the brain or not is highly contestable.
Not on any rational grounds. If we want to render someone unconscious, we can strike the back of the skull, just above the foramen magnum... rendering the person unconscious via physical trauma to the brain stem. Or, we can inject them with chemicals which are capable of blocking the receptors for various neurotransmitters in the brain. In fact, every system of control we have over consciousness, achieves it's effect by affecting the brain. One could argue that the kidneys have nothing to do with urine either but the argument isn't rational.

There's no doubt that consciousness is affected by the brain. We shouldn't conclude that consciousness is derived from the brain based on that. More on this below.


Why do people have such vivid memories of their near death experience during unconsciousness? Why doesn't this same thing happen when we faint?
Fainting is usually a very fast transition from consciousness to unconsciousness. There isn't any lingering in a state of hypoxia as with an NDE. And when we induce an NDE with an injection of ketamine (to block glutamate receptors), they have the same vivid memories as they do from a non-induced NDE.

Let me get this straight. You're implying that all NDE experience must occur in a state of lingering hypoxia, correct?

If ketamine disassociates the brain this would actually strengthen the argument that these experiences are not dependent on the brain.


If "consciousness" never began to exist, it has always existed. Correct?
To say it exists or doesn't exist is to demonstrate a lack of understanding as to what it is. Would you say that the cold in your freezer "exists" and previously didn't exist? It's simply an alteration of energy states. The molecules which are cold (less energetic), or warm (more energetic), don't transition from existence to non-existence. When you start the freezer, it begins lowering the energy state. When we reach a given state, we call that "frozen". The frozen didn't come into being from nothing, nor does it cease to exist because it's only a state we're describing. And states are simply a means to describe physical things which never come into existence, and never cease to exist.

We're talking about consciousness though, so there is a transition from non-existence to existence. Consciousness is an experiential state. Can you recall experiencing anything before you born? If not, this experiential state came into being. Anything that is not referring to an experiential state is not referring to consciousness.
Benshapiro
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1/15/2015 12:57:31 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/15/2015 12:34:46 AM, intellectuallyprimitive wrote:
At 1/14/2015 9:56:57 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I don't see any reason to deny the existence of an afterlife as an atheist.
Conversely, do you see a reason TO believe in the existence of an afterlife?
Humanity came into being. Your consciousness began to exist. What makes you so certain that your consciousness won't begin to exist again from a state of non-existence when you die? Maybe your consciousness will return in some other form, perhaps? Maybe in a different universe?
Yes, as the evidence suggests, humanity developed over a span of millions of years, eventually developing our consciousness as well. Consciousness is a byproduct of the brain, therefore ceases to function as soon as the brain terminates it's function. Is there evidence to suggest that a consciousness is capable to operate excluding a brain as a foundation?
I just don't see any reason to reject the existence of an afterlife.

I think the question that I'm asking is far more philosophical. If we came into being from non-being, why would it be impossible for us to come into being from non-being again after we die by some means?
Beastt
Posts: 5,135
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1/15/2015 1:00:38 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/15/2015 12:46:15 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 1/15/2015 12:23:23 AM, Beastt wrote:
At 1/15/2015 12:13:20 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 1/14/2015 11:45:56 PM, Beastt wrote:
At 1/14/2015 11:32:55 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 1/14/2015 11:24:08 PM, Beastt wrote:
At 1/14/2015 9:56:57 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I don't see any reason to deny the existence of an afterlife as an atheist.

Humanity came into being. Your consciousness began to exist. What makes you so certain that your consciousness won't begin to exist again from a state of non-existence when you die? Maybe your consciousness will return in some other form, perhaps? Maybe in a different universe?

I just don't see any reason to reject the existence of an afterlife.

Get yourself a $100 bill. Set it on fire and let it burn.

Let me know when it comes back.

Consciousness manifests from the brain - a physical organ. Let me know of all of the confirmed examples you can think of, for a disembodied consciousness.

Your consciousness began to exist from a state of nonexistence. What makes you certain that your consciousness won't begin to exist from a state of nonexistence again (at death) once you die? For all you know, you could be reincarnated into a different person or into an entirely different universe.

If the $100 bill began to exist from nonexistence then burnt up, why would I discount the possibility of it returning?

Consciousness is a state of the brain. It requires the brain. Even if you could kill a brain, let it decompose, and then somehow reform into a brain again, it wouldn't contain the same conscious state because that relies on the state of the various neurons in the brain. Once it decays, those states change. And they could only reform from being formed identically to begin with, and then undergo all of the very same diseases, experiences, neutrino bombardments, parents, siblings, schools, etc.

States can change, but nothing actually comes into existence from non-existence. To speak of the consciousness coming into existence is to misconstrue the nature of consciousness. Do you think the "running" state of your car's engine came into existence from non-existence?

Running is to an engine, as consciousness is to a brain. The brain doesn't come into existence from nothing, nor does the motor in your car. We simply have names for various states.

Whether consciousnessness is derived from the brain or not is highly contestable.
Not on any rational grounds. If we want to render someone unconscious, we can strike the back of the skull, just above the foramen magnum... rendering the person unconscious via physical trauma to the brain stem. Or, we can inject them with chemicals which are capable of blocking the receptors for various neurotransmitters in the brain. In fact, every system of control we have over consciousness, achieves it's effect by affecting the brain. One could argue that the kidneys have nothing to do with urine either but the argument isn't rational.

This is where your standard pattern (which you have been repeating over and over, for at least the past 7-months), begins it's downhill spiral into complete disingenuousness. How many times do you have to lose the same silly argument before you realize you're not going to win?

There's no doubt that consciousness is affected by the brain. We shouldn't conclude that consciousness is derived from the brain based on that. More on this below.
It seems you forgot to add more below. Your assertion is simply unsupportable. There is a well-established and cross-confirmed connection between the brain and consciousness, and absolutely NOTHING to suggest that consciousness manifest from anywhere, or anything, else.

Why do people have such vivid memories of their near death experience during unconsciousness? Why doesn't this same thing happen when we faint?
Fainting is usually a very fast transition from consciousness to unconsciousness. There isn't any lingering in a state of hypoxia as with an NDE. And when we induce an NDE with an injection of ketamine (to block glutamate receptors), they have the same vivid memories as they do from a non-induced NDE.

Let me get this straight. You're implying that all NDE experience must occur in a state of lingering hypoxia, correct?
I never said anything to that effect. I stated that NDEs involve a state of lingering, or gradually increasing hypoxia. When reviving, the hypoxia gradually declines. Fainting may, or may not, involve a hypoxic state, and the transition tends to be less gradual. And in a case of fainting, one does not see the same degree of decline in brain function.

If ketamine disassociates the brain this would actually strengthen the argument that these experiences are not dependent on the brain.
I'm sorry. "Disassociates" the brain from what? Ketamine blocks glutamate, which helps to assure that neurotransmitters flow from neuron to neuron. It disrupts normal brain activity, leading to abnormal brain activity, resulting from reduced neurotransmitter effectiveness.


If "consciousness" never began to exist, it has always existed. Correct?
To say it exists or doesn't exist is to demonstrate a lack of understanding as to what it is. Would you say that the cold in your freezer "exists" and previously didn't exist? It's simply an alteration of energy states. The molecules which are cold (less energetic), or warm (more energetic), don't transition from existence to non-existence. When you start the freezer, it begins lowering the energy state. When we reach a given state, we call that "frozen". The frozen didn't come into being from nothing, nor does it cease to exist because it's only a state we're describing. And states are simply a means to describe physical things which never come into existence, and never cease to exist.

We're talking about consciousness though, so there is a transition from non-existence to existence.
No there isn't, Ben. You can't just make a blind assertion and wipe out paragraphs of supported statements. Nothing transitions from non-existence to existence, or vice-versa. There is simply a change in brain states.

Consciousness is an experiential state. Can you recall experiencing anything before you born? If not, this experiential state came into being.
When you say that a "state" came into being, you're suggesting that the state itself is a form of "being". It's not, it's simply a state, like when your engine goes from not running, to running. Nothing comes into existence. It's simply a change of state.

Anything that is not referring to an experiential state is not referring to consciousness.
There is nothing magical about experiential states which makes them any different in terms of existence than any other state. Frozen doesn't come into our out of existence, running doesn't come into or out of existence, and consciousness doesn't come into or out of existence. They're a change in state, not a change of existence.

This is the last response, Ben. I've been explaining this to you for over 7-months. You lose the debate, then come right back with yet another thread making the same ridiculous PRATTs (Points Refuted A Thousand Times). Grow. Learn.
"If we believe absurdities we shall commit atrocities." -- Voltaire
Benshapiro
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1/15/2015 1:32:31 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Whether consciousnessness is derived from the brain or not is highly contestable.
Not on any rational grounds. If we want to render someone unconscious, we can strike the back of the skull, just above the foramen magnum... rendering the person unconscious via physical trauma to the brain stem. Or, we can inject them with chemicals which are capable of blocking the receptors for various neurotransmitters in the brain. In fact, every system of control we have over consciousness, achieves it's effect by affecting the brain. One could argue that the kidneys have nothing to do with urine either but the argument isn't rational.

This is where your standard pattern (which you have been repeating over and over, for at least the past 7-months), begins it's downhill spiral into complete disingenuousness. How many times do you have to lose the same silly argument before you realize you're not going to win?

Lose what argument? I've never been disingenuous about anything during my time here.

There's no doubt that consciousness is affected by the brain. We shouldn't conclude that consciousness is derived from the brain based on that. More on this below.
It seems you forgot to add more below. Your assertion is simply unsupportable. There is a well-established and cross-confirmed connection between the brain and consciousness, and absolutely NOTHING to suggest that consciousness manifest from anywhere, or anything, else.

NDE's suggest an inverse relationship between consciousness and brain function.

Why do people have such vivid memories of their near death experience during unconsciousness? Why doesn't this same thing happen when we faint?
Fainting is usually a very fast transition from consciousness to unconsciousness. There isn't any lingering in a state of hypoxia as with an NDE. And when we induce an NDE with an injection of ketamine (to block glutamate receptors), they have the same vivid memories as they do from a non-induced NDE.

Let me get this straight. You're implying that all NDE experience must occur in a state of lingering hypoxia, correct?
I never said anything to that effect. I stated that NDEs involve a state of lingering, or gradually increasing hypoxia. When reviving, the hypoxia gradually declines. Fainting may, or may not, involve a hypoxic state, and the transition tends to be less gradual. And in a case of fainting, one does not see the same degree of decline in brain function.

So if NDE's result in a greater decline of brain function than fainting does, yet NDE's result in a profound conscious experience while fainting doesn't, what do you suppose can be deduced from that?

If ketamine disassociates the brain this would actually strengthen the argument that these experiences are not dependent on the brain.
I'm sorry. "Disassociates" the brain from what? Ketamine blocks glutamate, which helps to assure that neurotransmitters flow from neuron to neuron. It disrupts normal brain activity, leading to abnormal brain activity, resulting from reduced neurotransmitter effectiveness.

"Ketamine functions in the brain as a 'dissociative anesthetic,' where dissociative indicate a shutting off of the brain from the body rather than simply pain blocking. Specifically, ketamine blocks the brain"s glutamate receptor, which when normally functioning accept glutamate increasing cell activity and brain function."
http://steinhardt.nyu.edu...


If "consciousness" never began to exist, it has always existed. Correct?
To say it exists or doesn't exist is to demonstrate a lack of understanding as to what it is. Would you say that the cold in your freezer "exists" and previously didn't exist? It's simply an alteration of energy states. The molecules which are cold (less energetic), or warm (more energetic), don't transition from existence to non-existence. When you start the freezer, it begins lowering the energy state. When we reach a given state, we call that "frozen". The frozen didn't come into being from nothing, nor does it cease to exist because it's only a state we're describing. And states are simply a means to describe physical things which never come into existence, and never cease to exist.

We're talking about consciousness though, so there is a transition from non-existence to existence.
No there isn't, Ben. You can't just make a blind assertion and wipe out paragraphs of supported statements. Nothing transitions from non-existence to existence, or vice-versa. There is simply a change in brain states.

It's just not logical to assert that an experiential state never began to exist. Since this experiential state does exist, this would mean that our experiential state has always existed. This is obviously not the case. Our experiential state began when we were born.

Consciousness is an experiential state. Can you recall experiencing anything before you born? If not, this experiential state came into being.
When you say that a "state" came into being, you're suggesting that the state itself is a form of "being". It's not, it's simply a state, like when your engine goes from not running, to running. Nothing comes into existence. It's simply a change of state.

Of course it is. How could consciousness not be a state of being?

Anything that is not referring to an experiential state is not referring to consciousness.
There is nothing magical about experiential states which makes them any different in terms of existence than any other state. Frozen doesn't come into our out of existence, running doesn't come into or out of existence, and consciousness doesn't come into or out of existence. They're a change in state, not a change of existence.

That's because your comparing apples to oranges. An experiential state doesn't form into non-experience and retain its state of experience. If it doesn't retain a state of experience it isn't conscious. If it isn't conscious, consciousness no longer exists.
Envisage
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1/15/2015 3:42:20 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/14/2015 9:56:57 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I don't see any reason to deny the existence of an afterlife as an atheist.

Humanity came into being. Your consciousness began to exist. What makes you so certain that your consciousness won't begin to exist again from a state of non-existence when you die? Maybe your consciousness will return in some other form, perhaps? Maybe in a different universe?

I just don't see any reason to reject the existence of an afterlife.

If eternalism is true, then I just exist as a four dimensional slice of universe, which will live his same life over and over for eternity (forever in ignorance of this fact). So that would be some weird form of immortality for me as an atheist
Illegalcombatant
Posts: 4,008
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1/15/2015 6:50:49 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
The way I see it, it depends on what you think about consciousness and what it is or isn't dependent on.

If you think it is more likely consciousnesses is dependent on the brain or some other physical thing then once that physical thing ceases to exist so does your consciousness egro probably no after life.

If you think conscious is not dependent on the brain or any physical thing then the physical things ceasing to exist would not result in the end of consciousnesses ergo probably an after life.
"Seems like another attempt to insert God into areas our knowledge has yet to penetrate. You figure God would be bigger than the gaps of our ignorance." Drafterman 19/5/12
Mhykiel
Posts: 5,987
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1/15/2015 7:02:19 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/14/2015 11:17:09 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 1/14/2015 11:00:34 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
At 1/14/2015 10:45:51 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 1/14/2015 9:56:57 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I don't see any reason to deny the existence of an afterlife as an atheist.

Humanity came into being. Your consciousness began to exist. What makes you so certain that your consciousness won't begin to exist again from a state of non-existence when you die? Maybe your consciousness will return in some other form, perhaps? Maybe in a different universe?

I just don't see any reason to reject the existence of an afterlife.

I see a huge link between consciousness and the human brain. Remove or damage parts of the brain, and consciousness is affected. We can predict which aspects will be affected in what ways with some reliability. Could there be a 'ghost in the machine'? Possibly. I just don't see any reason to believe that there is, or that it 'goes' anywhere after you die. Who's to say that the 'ghost' doesn't just sit in your skull with rotting brain matter until your bones are ground to dust, staring at the back of a bleached and crumbling skull? Or that the 'afterlife' isn't the last few synapses fired being played over and over again by the 'ghost' for all eternity like a broken record? I just don't see any reason for any incorporeal component to be reborn, or make a visit to Elysium, Valhalla, or Heaven and Hell.

Brain death doesn't appear to be the end.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...

A faulty diagnosis. There's not a perfectly clear positive/negative test for brain death, and it can happen in stages. The doctor made a mistake.

And a Near death experience from a woman recovering from hypothermic cardiac resuscitation.
http://www.near-death.com...

How might one explain these occurrences without the soul?

She wasn't truly dead, one of the requirements of death is irreversible brain death. This could be similar to a dream, or just some weird misfiring. Or she could be making it up. I honestly don't know, as there isn't any sort of controlled study. I'm not really opposed to the idea vehemently, I just don't see conclusive evidence pointing towards any one afterlife, or an actual afterlife at all.

I read the Bardo Thodol once, and thought that, when all of the symbolism and what it really meant were taken into account, it was the most well-thought out an interesting of all of the afterlives, though it's more of an in-between life. I wouldn't be upset or anything if I heard a natural D upon dying, or found myself in the first of the transitory Bardos; if anything I'd be intrigued. I just don't see the point in letting what would happen then, if anything, affect my life now.

I just posted those things to add something to think about. I don't know of any good arguments or evidence for a soul. I do think the explanations for such events, be it misdiagnosed brain dead or soul both seem little circular.

If a person thinks consciousness comes from brain then the explaination will be conformed to that notion.
Mhykiel
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1/15/2015 7:11:13 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/14/2015 11:35:37 PM, jodybirdy wrote:
At 1/14/2015 11:00:34 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
At 1/14/2015 10:45:51 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 1/14/2015 9:56:57 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I don't see any reason to deny the existence of an afterlife as an atheist.

Humanity came into being. Your consciousness began to exist. What makes you so certain that your consciousness won't begin to exist again from a state of non-existence when you die? Maybe your consciousness will return in some other form, perhaps? Maybe in a different universe?

I just don't see any reason to reject the existence of an afterlife.

I see a huge link between consciousness and the human brain. Remove or damage parts of the brain, and consciousness is affected. We can predict which aspects will be affected in what ways with some reliability. Could there be a 'ghost in the machine'? Possibly. I just don't see any reason to believe that there is, or that it 'goes' anywhere after you die. Who's to say that the 'ghost' doesn't just sit in your skull with rotting brain matter until your bones are ground to dust, staring at the back of a bleached and crumbling skull? Or that the 'afterlife' isn't the last few synapses fired being played over and over again by the 'ghost' for all eternity like a broken record? I just don't see any reason for any incorporeal component to be reborn, or make a visit to Elysium, Valhalla, or Heaven and Hell.

Brain death doesn't appear to be the end.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...

This just means he wasn't brain dead. Something most neurologists admit that we still have a lot to learn about the brain. The same thing happened with my father when he was in a coma. They thought he was close to brain dead as a result of oxygen and would never wake up. He woke up after week on a feeding tube and ventilator, had all of his faculties except for the temporary lack motor skills which is common with ARDS.

And a Near death experience from a woman recovering from hypothermic cardiac resuscitation.
http://www.near-death.com...

And this along with the above link is proof that we don't know for sure about what constitutes brain dead. The one and only time I was placed on anesthesia I heard everything that was going on in the surgery. Not only that, but with the eventual sleep came vivid and strange dreams. Something else to remember is that they were actually operating on her brain and that might cause some of the sensations she had. The out of body experience may have been a drug induced dream.

How might one explain these occurrences without the soul?

These occurrences do not prove that there is a soul. However, I'm not saying we don't have a soul, just that we have no evidence outside of patients undergoing the neurological trauma of near death. The human brain is still a mystery in a lot of ways. Dreams are a part of the normal neurological process.

True and all of that makes good sense. I've hallucinated under pain and meds before. At the time I knew it was a dream. But thats definately not to say people can have such things and be unaware of it being a dream.

My only question about that explaination, which I think is highly likely is why do nde's have such similarities. If it is a manual manipulation of the brain or a drug or trauma induced hallucination shouldn't they be more varied and random?

If it is from a brain reaction seems like a strange evolutionary path to make death a 'see all your loved ones day'

Not all nde are pleasant. I guess my point is my dreams are rarely like a tunnel of light.
TrueScotsman
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1/15/2015 7:14:00 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/14/2015 9:56:57 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I don't see any reason to deny the existence of an afterlife as an atheist.

Humanity came into being. Your consciousness began to exist. What makes you so certain that your consciousness won't begin to exist again from a state of non-existence when you die? Maybe your consciousness will return in some other form, perhaps? Maybe in a different universe?

I just don't see any reason to reject the existence of an afterlife.

Atheists believe in an after-life, just not an "after-consciousness," as your death brings life to other creatures buried in the earth. The after-life.

From an atheist perspective, I think it's most likely to say that your consciousness is dependent on the function of your physical brain. That if one embraces materialism, there doesn't seem to be any room for any kind of traditional understanding of the after-life.
Skepticalone
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1/15/2015 9:25:42 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/14/2015 9:56:57 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I don't see any reason to deny the existence of an afterlife as an atheist.

I don't see any reason to believe IN it.

Humanity came into being. Your consciousness began to exist. What makes you so certain that your consciousness won't begin to exist again from a state of non-existence when you die? Maybe your consciousness will return in some other form, perhaps? Maybe in a different universe?

How would the patterns of my consciousness exist without the physical patterns of information in my brain? Presumably, that would require some kind of energy, and there is no energy disappearing from this dimension that I am aware of. As far as the rest of your questions, I see a bunch of "maybe", to which I will answer with, "maybe" (but probably not).

I just don't see any reason to reject the existence of an afterlife.

You're looking at it the wrong way. What reason is there to believe in an afterlife (besides anecdote)?
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten