The Instigator
QuantumAchilles
Con (against)
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The Contender
kwagga_la
Pro (for)
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Life after death

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/5/2017 Category: Religion
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 640 times Debate No: 99614
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (5)
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QuantumAchilles

Con

I will be defending the position that death is the end for all material existence and that the definition of matter contrary to what most people think, extends to the realm of energy due to e=mc squared. I will be using neuro-biology to demonstrate that consciousness cannot exist independently of the brain and with a little bit of history, I'll be exposing the philosophical interests behind the idea of an afterlife.
kwagga_la

Pro

Thank you for initiating the debate. I will be using logic to demonstrate that life after death is possible and that science has obvious limitations (although I am not against science). Since this debate is classified under Religion, I will also refer to the Bible. Awaiting Pro's arguments.
Debate Round No. 1
QuantumAchilles

Con

I will start by sharing the first reason that makes me believe that life after death is impossible:
The key concept in the idea of a life after death is that somehow consciousness and by this I mean aspects of the human mind such as memory, identity and the capacity to perceive and interpret reality, remain intact even in the absence of the physical brain, thereby allowing ghosts to think, feel and even remember. I will begin by demonstrating how basic neurological processes such as memory are completely impossible if the physical brain is damaged or absent. Memory is not a feature that is produced by a single region of the brain, by a specific gland or lobe. There are various types of memories, for example, there is muscle memory which deals with the motion of the body, with facial features, with remembering how to ride a bike, how to run or how to fight and it is regulated by the motor and somatosensory cortices during the first stage of learning that is when you are learning how to do something physical that involves a sequence of movements from your body for the first time, there is memory associated with language which is a process believed to be carried out in the cerebral cortex and then there is a kind of memory (associated with learning and with recalling the past) that is produced by the Hippocampus. If the Hippocampus is damaged even slightly, people will have trouble remembering who they are if their long-termed memory is affected and in some cases, even trivial activities of their every day lives if their short-termed memory is damaged, meaning they can't learn new things. Clive wearing is an example of the way in which this first aspect of human consciousness (memory) depends directly of the physical brain. This man appeared in a documentary called "The man with the 7-second memory" and because his Hippocampus was damaged, his memory suffers. Similarly, if you affect individual neurons such as motor-neurons, you will eventually lose the capacity to move, an example of this is Hawking. Now, imagine a brain that is dead, a brain with no oxygen, with no synapse between neurons, how can there be a space for memory in the absence of the Hippocampus, the cerebral cortex, the frontal lobes and all the other areas of the brain associated with this key feature of consciousness? People who have brain-damage, who are in coma show that if a specific nerve or gland is damaged, consciousness suffers. How can there be thoughts without a brain? How can there be memory without a Hippocampus or a cerebral cortex? How can a ghost interact with its surroundings when it has no nerves or neurons to process light, sound and heat?
kwagga_la

Pro

Rebuttal:

Definition of consciousness

the quality or state of being aware especially of something within oneself, the state or fact of being conscious of an external object, state, or fact, awareness; especially : concern for some social or political cause , the state of being characterized by sensation, emotion, volition, and thought : mind, the totality of conscious states of an individual, the normal state of conscious life and the upper level of mental life of which the person is aware as contrasted with unconscious processes

https://www.merriam-webster.com...

You start out by giving many examples how consciousness may be affected in a physical person but then conclude that the same thing should apply to a non-physical entity as well? Energy does not stop existing, it may change and when it does the properties it possess also change. Likewise consciousness may not require the assistance of some physical element to function properly when the body dies.

Consciousness is primarily awareness. Memory may be an aspect of that but consciousness is not dependent on the memory to function. Your example of the man with the 7 second memory is proof of that. At the present moment he is aware of himself and his surroundings but cannot remember anything of previous awareness"s. Does his lack of memory impart his ability to be conscious of himself and surroundings in the present moment? No it does not. Even a person who"s Hippocampus is damaged is still aware of the present moment he/she finds themselves in. You do not need to learn something new to see your own body and surroundings and be aware of them. This basically means that even if memory is completely impossible it does not nullify consciousness.

A second example is the point you brought up regarding people in coma. I suppose that all people who were in coma do not come out of it without ANY memories, as in all memories gone from childhood. Therefore the memories and other functionalities remained dormant. It did not cease to exist. And even when they do come out of coma they will have instant awareness of their surroundings even though no memories are present.

So basically your point to show that "memory are completely impossible if the physical brain is damaged or absent" do not affect consciousness or is enough evidence to therefore conclude that consciousness will cease to exist or is an impossibility.

There are many medical cases that have recorded instances where people have been declared dead but after some time the person came back to life. Many of these people recount details of what was going on after they were declared dead, which means they were still aware of their surroundings. Some gave precise descriptions of events that took place while they were declared dead. That should be proof enough that consciousness can exist when the body stopped functioning.

Dr Eben Alexander, a Harvard-educated neurosurgeon, fell into a coma for seven days in 2008 after contracting meningitis.
During his illness Dr Alexander says that the part of his brain which controls human thought and emotion "shut down" and that he then experienced "something so profound that it gave me a scientific reason to believe in consciousness after death." In an essay for American magazine Newsweek, which he wrote to promote his book Proof of Heaven, Dr Alexander says he was met by a beautiful blue-eyed woman in a "place of clouds, big fluffy pink-white ones" and "shimmering beings". http://www.telegraph.co.uk...

In fact a recent article states that "science" have proof for the afterlife.

In a large scale study of more than 2,000 people, British boffins confirmed that thoughts DO carry on after the heart stops. The shock research has also uncovered the most convincing evidence of an out of body experience for a patient declared dead. It had been believed the brain stopped all activity 30 seconds after the heart had stopped pumping blood around the body, and that with that, awareness ceases too. However, the study from the University of Southampton shows people still experience awareness for up to three minutes after they had been pronounced dead. http://www.express.co.uk...

You mention a lot of situations that may impact a ghost in a negative way in a hypothetical manner, I say hypothetical because you try and impose physical characteristics on a ghost who is not physical in the same way as we are. That"s like entering a Porsche into a horse race. It"s ok right, because the Porsche and the horse are both able to move forward right? Of course not. If a ghost is not subjected to the same physical limitations as we are then it follows most likely that the "ghost" will be able to have full functionality and not have limitations as you conclude. What science has discovered for humans can only scientifically apply to a ghost if they are able to subject the Ghost to the same testing under the same conditions. I think this should be sufficient to point out that science do have limitations.
Debate Round No. 2
QuantumAchilles

Con

I don't conclude that the same thing would happen to a non physical-being, on the contrary, I include the examples of how consciousness is affected when a specific gland or lobe in the brain is damaged to show precisely how consciousness cannot exist in the absence of the brain. Regarding the man with the 7-second memory, though it may not affect his capacity to perceive reality it does enable him to recognise his wife for example, the house he lives in and even who he is and while its true that memory does not impale consciousness completely, affecting the areas of the brain that are responsible for the five senses, certainly do. Consider a dead body without an optic nerve, without temporal or frontal lobes, he could not see, smell, touch or even sense reality in any way; you state that consciousness is linked with the awareness of reality and I ask you, how can there be such awareness, how can a dead being perceive himself in the so called afterlife, when there a no neurological structures to perceive/interact with the elements of the world? that is with light, sound, space etc. If there is no optic nerve he can see no light, if there is no memory he can't have access to his past, if he doesn't have any nerves or neurons, he cannot process light or sound. If you take light, sound, touch, space, time from reality, what is there to be aware of? If memory is gone, together with identity, language and emotion, how can you say that there is an afterlife?

You then bring up the Near death experiences but if you compare a real dead person with someone who was clinically dead, the differences are immense. Those people who were clinically dead, had an anatomically intact brain. Sure, that brain might have suffered because of some cardiac problem that stopped blood from reaching neurons, but it's still there, while with a dead person, the brain literally rots. Near death experiences can be explained as follows. When someone dies, not all organs fail simultaneously, they take some time, that's why the brain stem might still be working when the frontal lobes are dead, and because of this, certain parts of the brain might still be perceiving certain elements of reality, might still be producing emotions and thoughts, even though the heart has stopped thereby allowing for some perception in a state when other parts of the brain or other organs have stopped functioning. This is because being clinically dead is not the same as being properly dead. You then speak of doctor Eben Alexander who stated that the part of his brain in charge of thoughts and emotions had shut down but you see, the fact that the frontal lobes or whatever gland or lobe he was referring to, seized to work, doesn't prove anything because all the other areas of his brain were still working. If for example, you shut down my frontal lobes (which regulate thought and emotion) and you leave my Hippocampus intact and also my temporal lobe intact, I will still be able to remember and even speak so again, this fails to prove anything regarding the afterlife because the state in which Eben Alexander was, is completely different from what death is. The type of death I am talking about is one in which all areas of the brain fail to work. Lobotomy is a good example of the point I'm making. If you surgically remove a part of the brain that is associated say with mathematical skill and you leave the rest of the brain undamaged, of course that person is going to lose their ability to do math, but they will be the same in all other branches of emotion and thought. Because in all near death experiences, at least a group of glands and lobes are left undamaged in the brain, perception still occurs. This is rather obvious and your point becomes invalid.
You then bring up a study that shows that thoughts still continue when the heart stops. Again, this is due to the fact that even if the heart stops, if some regions of the brain are left intact, they will function for some time before dying thereby it is a reasonable thing to observe.
Finally, you speak about "situations that might impact ghosts in a negative way" what does that even mean? I am giving ghosts physical characteristics because that's all that exists in the Universe. Tell me, how can a ghost see without optic nerves? How can he touch something solid without nerves to take that information to the brain?
Einstein showed that matter is contained energy. A corpse is metabolised by bacteria and that matter transforms but when that transformation takes place, atoms rearrange themselves to create entirely new things. What room is left for the soul when the matter of the brain becomes food for bacteria or turns into nutrients for the ground?
kwagga_la

Pro

Rebuttal:

1. I don't conclude that the same thing would happen to a non physical-being, on the contrary, I include the examples of how consciousness is affected when a specific gland or lobe in the brain is damaged to show precisely how consciousness cannot exist in the absence of the brain. " how can a dead being perceive himself in the so called afterlife, when there a no neurological structures to perceive/interact with the elements of the world?

Reply:

I disagree. You reason from the physical to the non-physical but only concentrate on the physical to conclude consciousness cannot exist as a non-physical entity based on observations of a physical body. When did you observe a non-physical entity to say what it can or cannot do? That is what I meant with: "situations that might impact ghosts in a negative way". According to your argument a ghost cannot see etc. because the physical organ is missing. On the other hand, I have mentioned that energy cannot be destroyed but only change form. It is likely that consciousness therefore is not destroyed at death but continue without the physical organs present. You observe the processes involved while the body is alive by assigning certain organs as the origin of the conscious and then conclude if the original organ is not there then the said consciousness can also not be there. The NDE cases were mentioned to show that people who"s "organs of origin" (if you will) were shutdown could still experience awareness. They were also able to return to life to testify that. By changing the attention to a deceased corpse do not change this fact.

You argue for consciousness based on the human anatomy. The fact is that all kinds of different animals are also able to experience awareness but their brains are different than humans. This should be enough reason to conclude that consciousness can utilize different mechanisms to express itself and is not bound to absolute specifics. That also counts for how light etc. is perceived and processed. Even though the physical characteristics are different they are all able to experience consciousness. A "ghost" has different properties and since consciousness is not restricted to a specific physical organ it is probable that a "ghost" do not need the same physical organs it had before death to experience consciousness.

2. Regarding the man with the 7-second memory.

Reply:

The point is as you well note is that he is still able to experience awareness. His consciousness did not cease to exist in the absence of his memory.

3. If you take light, sound, touch, space, time from reality, what is there to be aware of? If memory is gone, together with identity, language and emotion, how can you say that there is an afterlife?

Reply:

Again, you assign specific organs to a certain function as if that was the only way to do it. Your example is human based so it only accounts for a human. Consciousness is not confined to humans only. That is why I pointed out the differences between humans and animals before. Processing light can be done in different ways. Even a dead camera can process light to form a visible image. When the physical is gone then the way in which processes functions also changes. What was required before death is not necessarily required after death.

4. You then bring up the Near death experiences but if you compare a real dead person with someone who was clinically dead, the differences are immense.

Reply:

A rotten corpse cannot testify as someone who came back from the dead. First off, a rotten corpse does not nullify the experience because even a rotten corpse went through the same process to die. The only difference is one was able to come back and the other not. The NDE experience is still valid. Secondly, NDE cases where the body stopped functioning and is "dead" but then the person came back IS PROOF THAT DEATH IS NOT THE END. You argue that consciousness is seated in the brain and when the brain rotted consciousness ceased. This is an assumption on your part and the reason we have this debate. No scientific experiments have ever proved that consciousness was confined to only the brain and cannot continue after death.

5. Because in all near death experiences, at least a group of glands and lobes are left undamaged in the brain, perception still occurs. This is rather obvious and your point becomes invalid.

Reply:

In all? Have you examined ALL to make such a statement? It is not so "obvious" after all unless you have examined ALL the cases. You speculate to say the least. Some of the cases I know about registered no electrical pulses as was the case in the article I refer to. At a later stage, miraculously, electrical impulses were detected but not initially and it is obvious his consciousness survived it. Give me "ALL" the evidence you claim and I will concede my point is invalid. If you cannot then I suggest you refrain from making these type of comments.

But moving on, let"s look at brain dead cases that are similar to your rotten brain case. There are cases of brain dead people who were able to recover. Brain dead represents the same scenario in that the organ responsible for the actions are "absent". Although the brain was "absent", consciousness was regained and memories were restored when they were revived. Yes I know the corpse cannot be revived but in principle the comparison is based on organ functionality (or absence there of) and according to you the above is not possible if the organs functionality is impaired. 'Miracle recovery' of teen declared brain dead by four doctors. http://www.telegraph.co.uk...

6. Tell me, how can a ghost see without optic nerves? How can he touch something solid without nerves to take that information to the brain?

Reply:

In the same way a camera is able to "see", a robot is able to see (and act on what it sees) and different animals are able to see using different processes other than what humans use. In this age we have proven that a specific human organ is not the only way to produce a desired action. Many mechanical parts have been developed to overcome human disabilities. Although the matter is different the human consciousness can use mechanical devices to produce the same results. In the same way it is therefore possible for consciousness to retain the same functionality after death without the "flesh" using different "matter". You ask me this question but state in your opening: "I don't conclude that the same thing would happen to a non physical-being". You are still forcing physical requirements on a non-physical entity.

7. Einstein showed that matter is contained energy.

Reply:

It depends on your interpretation of what he said. Energy can leave one entity and move to another but will still be contained in the grand scale of thing, namely the universe. As a side note: Einstein"s was not infallible. (Einstein) "He called it the "cosmological constant," and it helped the equations account for the unchanging nature of the universe. But not long after Einstein published his equations, physicists discovered that the universe wasn't constant, but actually expanding all around us at a blistering speed. Oops. http://www.businessinsider.com...

"In physics, the law of conservation of energy states that the total energy of an isolated system remains constant"it is said to be conserved over time. Energy can neither be created nor destroyed; rather, it transforms from one form to another". https://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 3
QuantumAchilles

Con

I'll enumerate your replies and work from there:
1) That's exactly my point, you yourself have said it "When did you observe a non-physical entity to say what it can or can't do?" By admitting that there have been no observations of any non-physical entities, you are implying that all ideas on this particular subject are nothing more than speculation and I'll tell you something else, the definition of physical in modern science far beyond that which is solid, is all objects that are made up from particles in the standard model. The universe consists of 73% dark energy, 23% dark matter and 4% regular matter. Energy such as radiation, heat and light are made up of particles, from photons to quarks which means that even energy is physical because it is made up from atoms. A non-physical entity would imply something that is not made up from atoms and the only things that are not made up from regular atoms are either antimatter particles (which in fact are just atoms but with inverted electric charge) and dark matter. The latter is responsible for the expansion of the Universe. If we take this objective description of what is physical, what would the soul be made of if it isn't made up from atoms? Besides, let's accept for a moment that there is in fact a soul, how can a soul perceive the world without a brain? You see, if you take the electromagnetic components of thought, that is the electric waves used by neurons to make awareness possible, away from the brain, they become simple electric waves indistinguishable from those found in the air. It's like, if you took a computer's hardware and you just carried the electronic information of the files said computar contained, in the absence of a machine that can process information, that information by itself becomes meaningless. This is precisely what I think happens during death. Even if the electromagnetic and chemical information of consciousness were to remain intact even after the death of the brain, if there is no biological structure to process those thoughts, awareness becomes impossible.
Here is my first question. Consider an embryo. It is a living being as it is made up of millions of cells yet, because its brain is not fully developed, it has no way of restoring memory that's why we can't remember the time we spend in our mother's womb. Go back in further and consider a simple sperm and an egg, compare that state of existence with a person who's been dead for centuries like say Julius Cesar. The state in which Julius Cesar is in today is worse than just bones, he is simply dust and the fact that even living structures like cells without a brain cannot process reality to be properly considered conscious in the sense that we are, how can a dead person in the afterlife ever have awareness if cells that are actually alive and actively interacting with reality, hardly have a glimpse of consciousness beyond their biological adaptations to reproduce and adapt? If an embryo with a forming brain can't have long-lasting memories, if he can't see nor hear yet, because his brain is still forming, please explain to me how someone dead, without a brain could possibly be aware in the afterlife?

2) What I said was that HUMAN consciousness depends on human anatomy, I never said that consciousness objectively depends only in our anatomy. Of course there are thousands of nervous systems and brains that are vastly different to ours and with that being said, I suggest you read more carefully so that you don't misunderstand what I argue. What you say about the differences in anatomical structures and how they enable other animals to perceive more or less the same reality as we do is true but when we talk about a dead human or animal, you have to remember that we are dealing with a state where, THERE IS NO BRAIN OR ANATOMY, so how can there be awareness if there is no cerebral anatomy? Sure a fish with a very different brain can still be conscious and even sense some of the things our brains perceive but tell me how can a dead fish with no brain possibly be aware of its surroundings?

3) The thing is, that evolution shows that we all derived from the same microorganism 3.8 billion years ago. This means that we have a certain connection with mammals who also have primitive language-processing glands in their brains. For example the Fox-P2 gene which is responsible for language in humans is also found in other creatures who communicate through sounds, a primitive form of what we do, like dolphins and chimps. Of course consciousness is not only human, I never said that, what I said was that, if the characteristics of consciousness such as perception, thought and memory which are Universal. Mice, flies and all other animals have memory, they experience fear and pleasure therefore they have emotion, some of them have identity and that's how they are able to tell themselves apart from other objects. So that explains why I spoke about memory, identity and thought because these things are not exclusive to human. A dead camera? What do you mean by that? I'm sorry but your answer proves nothing. If you take away the brain that regulates the characteristics of consciousness which are Universal to all living beings, by definition if you take away A which produces C, how can you expect C to exist in the absence of A? If there is no brain, there is no memory for all animals not just for humans, if there is no hypothalamus there is no pleasure or fear again for all living beings not just humans so can you say that the things that were necessary to interpret reality before death are not needed after death? Those things that are needed to detect reality are the only means by which consciousness can exist, saying otherwise would necessarily mean that we are no longer talking about awareness because as you said, the definition of consciousness is the capacity to be aware of something and the things that allow this awareness to be possible are the senses which in all animals are generated by the brain. You can then argue, how are bacteria aware of their surroundings when they have no brain? But if you look at the biology of bacteria, you will find that they use chemical structures to process light, to mutate and feed upon nutrients and these chemical structures are visible through a microscope, besides they are in essence, chemical tools developed through natural selection to sense the real world which means they do the same thing as a brain but a much inferior level.
4) Again, you don't read everything I say and just end up misunderstanding. What I meant by that argument was that you can't bring up a Near death experience in an argument that is to do with DEATH not near death but with DEATH and with that being said, the differences between a rotting corpse (A PROPERLY DEAD CORPSE) with the body of someone who came out of a near death experience are immense because some of the organs are still working in the case of the Near death experience while in the case of the corpse, ALL organs have seized to work. Therefore, bringing up Near death experiences is useless because the circumstances involved with these kind of experiences are VERY different to those involved with death as it actually is. If I were talking about going to the moon, would I bring up how I nearly went to the moon? If I were talking about what sex feels like, would I tell you about the time I NEARLY had sex? No because the experience is not complete and therefore very different to the actual thing. Having sex is very different to NEARLY having sex, similarly being NEARLY dead is as different as it gets to actually being dead. Your point is as a consequence, completely irrelevant.
What you say about Einstein is wrong. There is only one interpretation to his theory because we are dealing with objective science not with subjective ideas. Read what e=mc squared means, check out the math behind special relativity and also Dirac's work in quantum physics and then you will understand.
Here are some new questions for you, try and read them carefully this time:
1) How can there be a sense of time for someone who's dead, when the passage of time is consciously detected by the act of observation? If you look at quantum mechanics, specifically at the work of Erwin Schrodinger, you will find that due to the uncertainty principle, particles exist not as definite points in space but rather as waves of probability. These waves of probability must be collapsed in order for quantum reality to take a single form. The cat paradox states that a cat may be dead and alive simultaneously unless it is observed and though this has sprung a lot of controversy and there are multiple interpretations of this paradox, one such interpretation is the Copenhagen interpretation and it basically says that consciousness is necessary to quantify certain, subatomic aspects of reality. The act of observation as conceived in this interpretation of quantum mechanics, is done through the senses. When someone dies, their senses disappear as perception cannot take place in the absence of the brain.
2) If all matter in the Universe consists of atoms and atoms are never stationary nor inmutable, how can the soul be immortal?
kwagga_la

Pro

Rebuttal:

There was too much to answer so therefore no numbering or extensive quotes from the previous round.

You refer to science to prove the non-physical and that is not possible as you agree here because the non-physical cannot be subjected to scientific testing. I think it is better to say science cannot do it yet, who knows? In the meantime, the way in which to proof the afterlife is based on other types of evidence. That is the point.

There is much to question in what you write, but I will point out a few things. No one knows what dark matter is other than it is a present force. Dark matter is not only a force but a non-physical force. Non-physical because no one observed it to such an extent that it is even referred to as a "mystery". "More is unknown than is known. We know how much dark energy there is because we know how it affects the universe's expansion. Other than that, it is a complete mystery". https://science.nasa.gov...

Dark matter leaves open the possibility that other "disembodied" (if you will) forces may exist - In theory of course based on the hypothesis of dark matter. Your argument in this respect against the soul also fails because the soul or consciousness can exist because it is energy. You are assuming things to make sense of your theories. If you disagree then tell me what dark matter is. It is obvious there are things that may exist or can exist for which science do not have an explanation. I have mentioned many times that the non-physical may see, feel, and do whatever using different "matter" when disembodied. By the way, the dead camera was mentioned to show that you do not even have to be "alive" like a human to be able to process light (and only referred to light processing).

Your argument using an embryo actually counters what you said before. I would like to point out here that your semantics is baseless. An underdeveloped brain would be the same as no brain because the functionality is missing in both instances. Trying to make a distinction between the similarities is illogical. The only difference is the one is there but not fit to process something and a rotten one is not there and also not fit to process something. A baby can feel pain within 8 weeks of conception. To feel or experience pain requires awareness. Scientific Studies Show Unborn Babies Can Feel Pain as Early as 8 Weeks http://www.lifenews.com...

Pain requires awareness and a baby"s brain only starts to function in the 10th week. Therefore the baby experiences awareness or consciousness before the brain is functional. The LEVEL of consciousness is a different matter of course, but the fact is there is consciousness before the brain can function properly. Fetal development timeline - http://www.babycenter.com.... It is true there are many debates around this topic but the main point for this debate is that the baby"s brain is still very underdeveloped by the time they can start to experience awareness. That includes sound, light, pain etc. It therefore follows that awareness do not require a full developed brain and therefore not dependent on it. It is an established fact that we have different LEVELS of consciousness. Saying that a baby cannot do this or that only proves that his/her LEVEL of consciousness is affected and not that it does not exist. A level of consciousness in a very limited state is still consciousness.

Pointing out that energy is not destroyed but only changes form you should keep in mind that the rotten brain existed before its decay. Since you also point to the electromagnetic components of thought I see it futile to prove that it is therefore also energy. So let me point this out again, very clearly, so there is no room for misunderstanding.

1. Dark matter exists as a non-physical force.
2. Thoughts etc. (awareness therefore consciousness) has electromagnetic components and is therefore energy. It can therefore not be destroyed according to the law of energy.

You ask: please explain to me how someone dead, without a brain could possibly be aware in the afterlife? You keep on referring to the physical and then ask me to explain the non-physical based on physical observations. Yet you agreed in your rebuttal that the non-physical has never been observed. Ok, I will answer your question on one condition; explain to me first why the color blue has no smell. This is the type of reasoning you want to subject me to.

I pointed out by using the examples of the animals etc. that consciousness can be experienced although the mechanisms used to do so can differ. It therefore follows that different beings with different structures and complexity can experience awareness differently. That is a fact. Applying that fact hypothetically to the non-physical it is therefore also possible that the physical, when deceased, is not dependent on the old physical requirement to experience awareness. After all it is now NON-NON-NON-PHYSICAL!! It is more probable therefore that a non-physical entity can experience awareness without the physical than not. In case you misunderstand me, I am saying that the consciousness can keep on existing as energy. I am not arguing the shape it takes because that is irrelevant to this debate. To determine what a non-physical entity is capable of you need to isolate the non-physical from the physical as separate modes of existence that can be transitioned into. Do you agree that water which is solid substance can become steam (its physical observable properties changed) and then can become vapor that is not seen (its properties changed again)? If you can then you should agree that it is possible that the same can be said of the physical transitioning into the no-physical.

Consciousness has different levels of awareness that impacts perception. Your arguments are based on the awareness being intelligent therefore "normal" as we experience it. In this debate I do have to prove the level of consciousness that is affected in various ways but only that consciousness can exist while the brain is not in a "normal" state or in such a state that it is "normally" not possible for the brain to be the source of consciousness. By doing that I prove that consciousness is not dependent on an organ to exist but uses the organ to fully experience different levels of consciousness. You on the other hand argue that the organ is the source of consciousness and without the organ consciousness cannot exist. You base the majority of your arguments on the level of consciousness that can be experienced under different circumstances without taking into account ALL the different circumstances. You focus on CERTAIN examples not all possibilities. I mentioned before, you keep on expecting to prove what a non-physical entity can do by referring to what it was able to do while being present in a physical state and IGONRING that the subjects properties changed.

I just have to point this out, although it has nothing to do with the point I try to make. You say we all derived 3.8 billion years ago? How can you possibly prove that? Are your aware that this number changed significantly over the years? At one stage it was 15 billion years. I guess everyone also stopped believing we came from apes because of the movie "Planet of the Apes". We have to maintain friendly relations just in case they do have advanced evolution right? I would like to challenge you to stop looking to science for all the answers and rather subject it to the utmost scrutiny. You will quickly realize that science has limitations and all the answers scientists can provide OFTEN are speculation. I pointed out that Einstein"s theory of relativity was faulty. Think of how many erroneous theories were based on it while everyone believed it to be true.

NDE is a near death experience that is correct. The definition of NDE has two components it refers to. One is to someone who almost died but could still experience something, vital signs present but very faint. The other is to someone who died in that his vitals were not present but came back to life. It is also referred to as NDE because the subject was able to come back although it died so we cannot consider the person as dead anymore. That would be ludicrous. Again, your separation is semantics at best and the NDE cases is valid I referred to because the person was declared dead, and there was no vital signs present to declare the subject as alive. That is the same as a corps, no vital signs, only the physical composition is different. I pointed this out by saying they both went through he same steps of dying. If you took the time to read the references then you probably would not have spent all the time you did on explaining what NEARLY having sex means. The guy died, he did not NEARLY die.

Your time argument is illogical. Time exist whether you can observe it or not. And I suggest you read again what you wrote here. Therefore if someone dies then time keeps on existing. Since it can exist it can be observed. Time does not even require our consciousness to exist. It exists whether you are aware of it or not, just like a rock is not aware of it and it still exists. Therefore, a non-physical entity can observe time because it is available to be observed and everything is subjected to it. Time is not depended on the physical or non-physical.

And again, like so many times before, you keep on forcing physical properties onto a non-physical entity although you claim you do not. The cases where people were declared dead but still were aware of their surroundings disprove your statement that "When someone dies, their senses disappear as perception cannot take place in the absence of the brain". And how you want to define NDE does not change that.

Please consider the following:

1. People in a state of coma or brain dead cannot respond intelligently because consciousness is suppressed.
It is therefore reasonable to conclude that consciousness possess intelligent attributes and characteristics. Consciousness is aware, can think and communicate etc.

2. People in a state of coma or brain dead do not display consciousness. However, People in a state of coma or brain dead can be revived and retain their consciousness.
It is therefore reasonable to conclude that consciousness is retained but suppressed in a state of coma or brain dead and that the consciousness did not cease to exist.

3. When someone is in coma or brain dead consciousness do not cease to exist although corporeal damage may impair the expression of full consciousness.
It is therefore reasonable to conclude that consciousness is not dependent on the corporeal to exist although the corporeal can influence the ability to express consciousness.

4. When someone is in coma or brain dead the body"s biological processes do not stop but continue to function without the direct presence of active consciousness.
It is therefore reasonable to conclude that the active presence of consciousness is therefore not required for the biological processes to function and therefore it can also be deduced that the two are separate entities within the same body because their functioning is not dependent on each other.

5. An unresponsive state of the body does not eliminate consciousness. It has been observed that some patient"s who experienced death, where their bodily functions were shutdown, could retain their consciousness during the shutdown period although the external observers could not detect any signs of consciousness or bodily functionality.
It is therefore reasonable to conclude that consciousness can exist when the body is dead. External lack of observable consciousness is not enough to establish that consciousness ceased to exist.

6. Consciousness causes intelligent action to take place and not the body because the body is intelligently unresponsive when consciousness is suppressed.
It is therefore reasonable to conclude that consciousness uses the body as an instrument to function intelligently and not the other way around. The body is dependent on consciousness for intelligent expression. Consciousness causes and directs action using the body.

7. Consciousness is the cause of intelligent action and cannot be annulled by a dead body.
Therefore it is reasonable to conclude that consciousness can continue existing after the body died.
Debate Round No. 4
QuantumAchilles

Con

1) I state that it is possible to disprove the non-physical because everything in the Universe is physical. If you look at e=mc2 the equation relates energy to mass. Since the 4% of the Universe that is made up of matter has mass, energy from electromagnetism to radiation is in fact concealed within the mass of objects, that is within atoms themselves. Furthermore, because the standard model of particle physics describes particles that make up forces in nature such as gravity and the strong nuclear force with bosons, energy itself can be quantified and explained through rigorous mathematics. If the other two things that are not made of matter (anti-matter and dark matter) are still forms of energy, what is the soul and the non-physical made of? If you look, talking about the non-physical would imply going beyond everything that exists in the Universe and that is nothing but speculation. Additionally, because we are talking about life after death, we humans are made up of atoms and if our energy, from the electric sparks in our brains to the chemical binding of molecules in our cells, is composed of electrons and quarks, what is the soul made of if it's a non-physical thing? How can we humans made up of atoms, have something that goes beyond the elements of the Universe, something that is not described in the standard model? If everything from heat to galaxies are made of the same baryons and leptons, what is the soul made of? If there is a life after death and the soul is not made of matter or energy, how can it interact with time and space if they themselves exist due to complex quantum fluctuations?

2) You are wrong about dark matter. When Einstein developed the cosmological constant, he called it the greatest blunder of his life because he wanted a force that would counter-balance gravity and with recent astronomical observations, scientists have determined that dark matter is a PHYSICAL FORCE. It's physical, because it not only keeps galaxies from taring themselves apart but it also EXPANDS the universe. When something is expanded, it is a direct alteration of its volume, therefore it is a physical process. The Universe a physical system, is expanding because of dark matter and the fact that Dark matter MOVES galaxies away from each other, shows that dark matter is indeed a physical thing.

3) Again you are misinterpreting what dark matter is. For example, gravity may appear on the surface to be a disembodied and even non-physical force. Why? Because you can't see it nor taste it and while in Newtonian physics it was often thought that gravity was the type of invisible, non-physical force of which you speak when you talk about dark matter, Einstein came along in 1915 and showed through General relativity that gravity is in fact the curvature of SPACE therefore, while its invisible and odourless it is a physical phenomenon. Similarly, since dark matter does the opposite of gravity, instead of attracting objects it repels them, Dark matter must be a consequence of the geometry of space. This is shown in multiple theories in cosmology, just read Physics reviews or any other scientific magazine and you will find out what the properties of dark matter are. I can tell you what dark matter is, no problem. Dark matter is the FORCE that is causing the expansion of the Universe. If dark matter were non-physical as you say, how could it interact with space and with quanta? Look at gravity. Gravity attracts and it is produced when space is curved. Dark matter repels so of course, it must be produced not when space is curved but when space is stretched. If space is stretched, this necessarily involves a physical mechanism which means your argument is invalid and your understanding of dark matter is wrong. You then speak about the "dead" camera but in the end, what the camera records must be seen by a human, otherwise how do we know it recorded anything to begin with? This is a classical case of the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics which stresses the need of a conscious observer to collapse the wave function of particles at a quantum level. https://science.nasa.gov...

4) What you say proves nothing, you are in fact proving my point. You are basically equating the brain of an embryo with the rotten brain of a dead person and although that is completely wrong and a rather arbitrary thing to do because the brain of an embryo DOES indeed have neuronal connections and is perceiving reality to some degree, regardless, it goes to show that a dead brain cannot perceive reality and since consciousness depends on the physical anatomy of the brain (lobotomy shows that if you extract the frontal lobes of someone, they will lose their capacity to feel any emotion) you are accepting that without the brain, consciousness has no way: First of perceiving reality, because reality is physical even energy is formed of quanta and bosons and second, it has no way of thinking, feeling or remembering.
I will post this questions and then complete my answer to your intervention on the next round because I'm kind of running out of space here:

1) Consider for a moment, Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, it says that you can never know the position nor the speed of an electron with absolute certainty. Even with this ghostly nature, electrons are still affected by physical laws such as gravity or dark matter, by magnetism and other forces. Why? because despite of their elusive nature with allows them to become waves of infinite probability, they are PHYSICAL. If electrons can entangle with each other and transmit information at a speed far greater than that of light, if they can teleport and be at two places at the same time and yet they are physical, how would you describe the soul then as being non-physical?

2) When you perceive reality as a conscious being, at the fundamental level according to Bohr's interpretation of quantum mechanics, the existence of reality depends on the interaction between consciousness and a wave function. This interaction is a quantum mechanical phenomenon that is really just the interaction between the atoms that form consciousness understood as the capacity of the brain to carry out is functions that allow us to be aware of our surroundings, and the atoms of other objects. If the collapse of the wave function is done through the mingling of the atoms of our senses with the photons of light for example, how can consciousness be something non-physical if the scientifically hypothesised way by which it interacts with reality is through the laws of quantum mechanics, a theory to describe the physical Universe?

3) If there is indeed an afterlife, how would you go about existing in space which is largely composed of virtual particles, if you are a non-physical being? If there is a life after death, how can something exist if there is no time? The main feature of time which allows for entropy to change the states of matter, from A to be, would be impossible in a reality without time because you continuously state that a life after death would have to be nonphysical. As was shown by Einstein in 1905 when he developed the theory of special relativity, time is a physical thing that is affected by the velocity and the mass of an object. The faster an object moves, the slower time flows thereby the expression t=t'/1-v/c With that in mind, if you speak of something non-physical, you would be talking about something outside the boundaries of time and as we all know, in the absence of time, the basic transformations of matter become meaningless, impossible because everything would be frozen in the same state without changing. This would be eternity I suppose. Seeing that time is such a physical thing that can be affected by the mass of objects, (that's why time in Jupiter is different to the time perceived on earth because of the fact that the mass of Jupiter actually slows down timehttps://en.wikipedia.org... ) how would you describe this non-physical essence you speak of in the absence of time?
You conclude by saying that consciousness is caused by intelligent action but how about the consciousness of a bacteria?
Your definition of consciousness is very flawed. Consciousness is the capacity to be aware of the elements of reality through sensorial perception and at a more complicated, deeper way, this means collapsing the wave function of objects as it is shown in Schrondringer's paradox in which the act of observation determines the state of reality, in this case, if a cat is dead or alive.
kwagga_la

Pro

You base a lot on Einstein's e=mc2. I pointed out before that his theory was flawed because he assumed the universe was static and not expanding. You quote it as if it was developed specifically to disprove the afterlife but it is not the case. Einstein believed in a pantheistic god and even stated he was not an atheist. Atheist's today try to claim him as one but by his own admission he was not. If there is some sort of a god then there is life eternal. So quoting Einstein's theory is not proof there can be no afterlife because Einstein formulated this theory and still believed in a god. Quite obviously he did not see a contradiction between the two because he believed both of them at the same time.

You say I am wrong about dark matter and misunderstand it but I did not make the statements about it by myself. I quoted the sources and provided the links. You are not saying I am wrong, you are saying other scientists in the field are wrong and misunderstand the material they work with everyday. It is clear you have a misconception of what a god is or can be and if you want to quote people as the absolute authority or truth to base your beliefs on then they have become your god. Just remember that Christians, Muslims, Hindus etc. can all do science. Science is not support to prove atheism as a truth. Scientists in one country can do science just as good as their counterparts in another without having to confess atheism and renounce their beliefs that God exist. Most of what you stated here about dark matter etc. is based on speculation, mathematical modules, inference and the like that can at best establish probability.

Dark matter and energy are forces. You are presumptuous to say it is physical forces because no one has ever seen or subjected it to testing. Observing the effects is not observing the force itself. But in the same way consciousness can exist as energy which is a force and that is the crux. I do not see the need to explain the whole thing about energy conservation again. The point is that it is more probable for consciousness to exist then not to exist. Nothing you said changed that probability.

You have spent a lot of time to show that a organ is the seat of consciousness by referring to the effects observed if the organ is damaged. When I pointed out that the fetal brain is underdeveloped but is able to be aware I did so to prove the obvious. Awareness is not dependent on a fully functional brain like you argued. And that point is still true after all you said.

I was the one who pointed out to you that your consciousness model was limited. So I do not really see your point asking me about bacteria etc. My answer was given above and remains the same.

Thank you for the debate, I wish you all the best.
Debate Round No. 5
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by QuantumAchilles 1 year ago
QuantumAchilles
It was a nice debate. You had some good positions and arguments.
Posted by kwagga_la 1 year ago
kwagga_la
Should ne: In this debate I do Not have to prove
Posted by kwagga_la 1 year ago
kwagga_la
It depends on who you want to talk to.
Posted by canis 1 year ago
canis
If you are dead...How do you talk about your life ?
Posted by kwagga_la 1 year ago
kwagga_la
Correction, I mean Con's arguments
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