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Do you think theres an afterlife? Watch

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    no, because the brain is the reason why we're conscious, so if the source of consciousness ceases to function, then that's a perfectly adequate explanation for what happens when we die - nothing. game over.
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    Condidering nothing is truly known about anything, I will not rule out the chance of an afterlife.
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    (Original post by Vixen47)
    No. The concept of heaven and hell is what pushed me to leave Islam two years ago.

    I like to believe that the afterlife is like a resting place for the mind, sort of like eternal meditation. But I'm obsessed with finding peace of mind in this life so this could just be me idealising a place that doesn't exist. I guess we'll only find out when we die. :dontknow:
    Yes same! And all the other miraculous things like jinns...are what pushed me to leave it...
    I just believe that after we die, it's well the end for our consciousness.
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    (Original post by DouglasAdams)
    Well not quite, as one does not actively pursue argument versus the existence of unicorns, whereas the theory of evolution, one which you invest in as sound, directly opposes G-d. If there was a widespread theory that actively dismissed unicorns' existence, it would also be worth exploring the counter argument. Furthermore, although the "it came first" argument is slightly primitive, it should be given some thought. If Creationism was the widespread belief of human civilization for thousands of years, it cannot be merely dismissed as fantastical with a wave of the hand.

    Your classifying of souls as discrete objects is interesting. If you are to believe in G-d and that He created the Universe, then you must infer that there was a time that there was no universe and in a sense therefore the Universe was created out of G-d and likewise G-d is everything in the Universe. Obviously, I am not suggesting that everything in existence is the same, but the concepts of souls fusing is not too difficult to understand. In fact, my religion believes a human soul to be part of G-d and they will eventually return to Him. Therefore, to fuse two together is not a ridiculous notion under these beliefs. Souls are also spiritual, and it is rather strenuous to explain them in physical terms (why can't we see the souls? how do they fuse? etc)

    Concerning different levels of souls, we should perhaps refer to the 4 Kingdoms which is similar enough to my religion's ideas when it comes to differences between certain forms of life. In short, Judaism suggests (although not explicitly for we do not often concern ourselves with such impractical matters) that the lowest level is inanimate objects, followed by plant life, then animals, then humans. (Before you ask, no I do not remember the status of bacteria.) The best culmination of the life of one sect is to rise to the next e.g. animals eaten by humans etc. This does not however, I should perhaps point out, advocate for human cruelty. The Talmud recounts a story in which a cow called out to a certain rabbi when on the way to the slaughter (there are debates whether this is meant literally or not) to not be eaten, and the rabbi dismissed the cow's complaint by pointing out that this was what animals were created for and he/she should be pleased to serve their ultimate purpose. The rabbi was smitten with a terribly painful illness in old age for his insensitivity. But this is beside the point, and there are also answers for what about the animals which cannot be eaten, likewise for plans and inanimate objects, but they are discussions for another day and I wish not to delve into them now.
    Nonetheless, the overall point is that if you believe in G-d as I do, the idea of souls is far from stupendous and stupid.

    I feel not extraordinarily insulted, but remember it was Aristotle who pointed out that it is a stupid mind which cannot consider the ideas of another even when not believing in them. Great minds discuss ideas.
    There is a difference between refusing to consider an idea, and taking a very small amount of time to consider it as false. I have considered the ideas of religions including your own, and they seem totally fantastical and improbable, given the knowledge humanity has gained in the past few hundred years.

    The problem essentially with souls is that there is no fine line between what is human and what is non-human life, taken over a long period of time. You still haven't answered, and in fact cannot answer (nobody can because there is no answer) the question of when humans gained a soul. Clearly we should value human beings more than, say, mackerel or gibbons, and if you want to take the teachings of religions as metaphors or simply poetry, that's fine, but to pretend that it makes any kind of literal sense is to ignore reality.

    The theory of evolution does not actively dismiss the notion of God. It doesn't require God, which is different. If science, in all its hypotheses and theories, were to consider the opinions of people of the past who invented religions while ignorant of the universe, then it would be intellectually dishonest as well as quite slow. There are many thousands of different tribal religions, all conflicting with each other and all equally, and woefully, inadequate at describing the natural world. To believe in one while aware of the existence of all the others is something I can't imagine why anybody would do.
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    (Original post by empdc)
    those people that do believe in one, do you believe we are able to contact friends or relatives that have recently passed?
    Personally yes, but it's not really my primary concern; I am far more interested about whether I cease to exist or not. I suppose that as time goes on and I unfortunately am likely to lose loved ones to the inevitability of death I shall be more intruiged by the wonderful possibility of seeing them again. There are some people I could not bear to lose and the thought that they have not gone forever, but rather will be reunited with me at some point may be a comforting thought.
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    (Original post by felamaslen)
    There is a difference between refusing to consider an idea, and taking a very small amount of time to consider it as false. I have considered the ideas of religions including your own, and they seem totally fantastical and improbable, given the knowledge humanity has gained in the past few hundred years.

    The problem essentially with souls is that there is no fine line between what is human and what is non-human life, taken over a long period of time. You still haven't answered, and in fact cannot answer (nobody can because there is no answer) the question of when humans gained a soul. Clearly we should value human beings more than, say, mackerel or gibbons, and if you want to take the teachings of religions as metaphors or simply poetry, that's fine, but to pretend that it makes any kind of literal sense is to ignore reality.

    The theory of evolution does not actively dismiss the notion of God. It doesn't require God, which is different. If science, in all its hypotheses and theories, were to consider the opinions of people of the past who invented religions while ignorant of the universe, then it would be intellectually dishonest as well as quite slow. There are many thousands of different tribal religions, all conflicting with each other and all equally, and woefully, inadequate at describing the natural world. To believe in one while aware of the existence of all the others is something I can't imagine why anybody would do.
    I find it doubtful that you have considered my religion to its full extent, as even I have not yet explored to its boundaries and I have been educated in it my entire life. Not to suggest for a moment either that I am brainwashed on the other hand; I have read as much Aristotle, Plato, Nietzsche et al. as I saw fit before the burden of philosophy grew rather heavy on my mind as exams approached and I focused more priorities elsewhere, and formulated my own opinions.
    Consequently, as I fear this is where our discussion is leading (and sense it rather pathetic to skirt around the subject for much longer without confronting it directly) is a religious debate, which I would be more than glad to have with you. Indeed, you seem rather intelligent and the command on English prose always impresses. However, I wish not to burden our peers with such debate technically irrelevant to the subject title of this thread which originally aroused their interest in this page. Thus I would like to ask if you wish to have such a religious debate (admittedly which would satisfy neither of us but would be quite amusing for us both), and where so if yes: here and annoy our fellow TSRians no end, via PM or on a new thread?
    For the record, I would like to point out that I do believe in micro evolution but the macro form is one with which I most definitely disagree.
    Was wondering also, and again my thoughts are starting to run, how old you are? If you don't mind me asking, that is.
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    (Original post by DouglasAdams)
    I find it doubtful that you have considered my religion to its full extent, as even I have not yet explored to its boundaries and I have been educated in it my entire life. Not to suggest for a moment either that I am brainwashed on the other hand; I have read as much Aristotle, Plato, Nietzsche et al. as I saw fit before the burden of philosophy grew rather heavy on my mind as exams approached and I focused more priorities elsewhere, and formulated my own opinions.
    Consequently, as I fear this is where our discussion is leading (and sense it rather pathetic to skirt around the subject for much longer without confronting it directly) is a religious debate, which I would be more than glad to have with you. Indeed, you seem rather intelligent and the command on English prose always impresses. However, I wish not to burden our peers with such debate technically irrelevant to the subject title of this thread which originally aroused their interest in this page. Thus I would like to ask if you wish to have such a religious debate (admittedly which would satisfy neither of us but would be quite amusing for us both), and where so if yes: here and annoy our fellow TSRians no end, via PM or on a new thread?
    For the record, I would like to point out that I do believe in micro evolution but the macro form is one with which I most definitely disagree.
    Was wondering also, and again my thoughts are starting to run, how old you are? If you don't mind me asking, that is.
    I think I'll pass on the religious debate, thanks. I've had a fair few of them, with Muslims, Christians and Jews, and they never get anywhere. To be honest, I don't really care what people believe so long as it's compatible with human freedom. Thanks for the compliment about my language skills by the way.

    I do have to mention though that there is no difference between micro- and macro-evolution. In fact I doubt a biologist ever coined that term. The pace of evolution is simply so glacial that in order to observe any noticeable changes, you need to be around for a very long time. If you traced your own ancestry back one million generations, as you travelled down into the past, each ancestor would slowly morph into something looking like a small mammal, rodent-like perhaps (at a guess). There would be no clear point at which you could say the next ancestor is not a human.

    I'm eighteen years old; going to start university this year to do mathematics.

    Oh, I forgot to mention: I haven't considered Judaism in any great depth as possibly being true, ironically because I am actually quite familiar with Judaism as my family is partly Jewish by descent. It just doesn't warrant the time of day. Talking snakes, for example. The burning bush. The great flood! I mean, come on. But I don't want this to turn into some religious flame fest, because as I say it just goes round and round in infinitely decreasing circles.
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    (Original post by Ziggy Sawdust)
    Would you agree then that what makes us who we are is the unique structure of our brain? The atoms themselves can play no part in shaping us as individuals as they are all the identical to one another, and they are replaced several times over during our lifetimes anyhow. It is, rather, the pattern in which the atoms are arranged that permits our unique perspective to emerge and allows us to perceive reality?

    If you agree with the above then you must surely be led to ask he question: what's to stop this pattern emerging again? The answer is that there is absolutely nothing in theory to prevent this from happening. You would probably argue that it would be inconceivably unlikely for precisely the same pattern to emerge again, and you'd be right. Until, that is, you realise that there are only a finite number of ways in which matter (atoms) can be arranged, and that if the universe is spatially infinite , which data from WMAP shows it almost certainly is, then all patterns will eventually repeat, including the precise pattern that forms your consciousness. When you introduce infinity (spatial or temporal) into a non-zero statistical probability calculation you always end up with with a probability of 1; anything physically possible, no matter how improbable, will inevitably happen. So we must come to the conclusion that the pattern which encodes the sum total of everything you are: your DNA, personality, memories, opinions etc will inevitably repeat, and an afterlife is thus a certainty.
    Yes, I'm aware of the likelihood that the universe is spatially infinite, which gives credence to the notion that if you travel far enough, you'll meet yourself. But, I've never considered that it could have implications in terms of an afterlife. Indeed, in that sense, I suppose one could say that we have an afterlife: intuitively, it seems as if we wouldn't know, but just because we may not know doesn't mean it's not true. Also, now that we've considered it, we have to consider that we're in an afterlife.

    Still, it doesn't feel as if it matters for us - we'll still die, and some clone light-years away will be living the afterlife instead of us.
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    (Original post by viddy9)
    Yes, I'm aware of the likelihood that the universe is spatially infinite, which gives credence to the notion that if you travel far enough, you'll meet yourself. But, I've never considered that it could have implications in terms of an afterlife. Indeed, in that sense, I suppose one could say that we have an afterlife: intuitively, it seems as if we wouldn't know, but just because we may not know doesn't mean it's not true. Also, now that we've considered it, we have to consider that we're in an afterlife.

    Still, it doesn't feel as if it matters for us - we'll still die, and some clone light-years away will be living the afterlife instead of us.
    It wouldn't just be a clone though; a clone would share your DNA but would have different experiences and memories, and would consequently have variable brain structure, neural connections and thought patterns, much like identitical twins do. The kind of 'copy' we're talking about would share precisely the same physically manifested pattern of information that makes you who you are; its entire atomic structure and resulting subjective experience would be indiscenable from your own.

    If you take the materialist perspective, as you seem to do, and you therefore consider an individual's consciousness to be an information structure encoded in physical matter, you must accept that there is nothing unique about your subjective experience; that your mind can be replicated, reconstituted and redistributed throughout space and time. Although you don't seem to realise it, by suggesting that these other versions of you are somehow separate or different from you, you are tacitly inferring that there must be some unseen metaphysical aspect that renders your perspective and subjective experience unique and distinct from all others. Something that would perhaps be analogous to a 'soul'?
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    The quran makes a lot of sense on this topic
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    I think my brain just exploded......

    Anyway, I don't know, it could be possible afterall if the 'soul' exists then it must be made of something, right? everything is made up of something, even thoughts are in the form of impulses. So, based on this logic then the 'soul' can't just disappear so it should go somewhere since if it just cease to exist then it would go against one of the main laws of Science so it would be more logical if an afterlife exists where the souls go when you die.

    But then again, if 'souls' don't exist then the afterlife couldn't exist because it says that the afterlife is where the soul or spirit go, if there is no soul then we just cease to exist because our brains, which powers the body (sending impulses and all that) stops, taking our life away. We don't have a soul and our life is connected brain so if the brain stops we die and cease to exist, we don't have an afterlife since we don't have a soul and all that so we just disappear.

    It's a bit hard to explain but in a nutshell my opinion on the existence of the afterlife depends on the existence of a soul or spirit. (No soul=No afterlife-----Soul=Afterlife)
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    cant wait for the afterlife, i'll look back and laugh at this miniscule flash of current life.
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    (Original post by MALL COP)
    cant wait for the afterlife, i'll look back and laugh at this miniscule flash of current life.
    i hope hes happy wherever he is
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    (Original post by empdc)
    i hope hes happy wherever he is
    thanks, kind words like these always make my day
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    No. I'm deeply suspicious of wishful thinking.

    I don't want false hope.
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    I don't want there to be any afterlife. I mean in my eyes it's a far less scary thought to just stop existing than not knowing what to expect after death or having to spend an eternity in some kind of a "better place". If you just stop having thoughts or consciousness after you die you can't feel bad or scared about dying anymore or feel bad for the people who loved you, you can't be hurt by the fact that you're dead because you can't think about being dead. That's why I'm not really that scared of dying, kinda selfish maybe considering the people I leave behind but still, it makes it easier for me to accept that people die, they can just have their well deserved rest and not be scared or sad anymore. I find it way too hard to believe that I wouldn't be sad about dying or miss my life if I would just keep living some afterlife. And really if afterlife was like some kind of a state where you don't remember or think about your past life or people in it I wouldn't even want to keep existing, I wouldn't be me anymore at that point.
    And after a person has lived for many decades, don't they kinda deserve a little rest?

    So umm I don't know if anyone gets what I'm trying to say here but I explained it the best I could
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    (Original post by Ziggy Sawdust)
    It wouldn't just be a clone though; a clone would share your DNA but would have different experiences and memories, and would consequently have variable brain structure, neural connections and thought patterns, much like identitical twins do. The kind of 'copy' we're talking about would share precisely the same physically manifested pattern of information that makes you who you are; its entire atomic structure and resulting subjective experience would be indiscenable from your own.

    If you take the materialist perspective, as you seem to do, and you therefore consider an individual's consciousness to be an information structure encoded in physical matter, you must accept that there is nothing unique about your subjective experience; that your mind can be replicated, reconstituted and redistributed throughout space and time. Although you don't seem to realise it, by suggesting that these other versions of you are somehow separate or different from you, you are tacitly inferring that there must be some unseen metaphysical aspect that renders your perspective and subjective experience unique and distinct from all others. Something that would perhaps be analogous to a 'soul'?
    Yes, but we're still separate beings, regardless of whether we're identical in every other way. The atoms which would make us up will be different from the atoms that make the other 'me' up. I agree that my mind can be replicated, reconstituted, and redistributed through spacetime, because in an infinite universe, even when the effects of quantum mechanics are taken into account, there will certainly be another 'me'. As I said though, we're still separate beings, and it still won't affect my life, therefore. We are, at times, selfish beings, and saying that another being who's lived out exactly the same life as me will live on makes no difference to me.

    Essentially, it's precisely because our experiences are subjective that it doesn't make any difference to us. Of course it's possible that their subjective experience is exactly the same as my subjective experience, but that doesn't make it any less subjective.
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    (Original post by empdc)
    want your opinions. do you think theres an afterlife or does everything just end?
    We do not extend infinitely in space (i.e. you are not omnipresent: there are spatial regions where you do not exist) so it is not surprising that we do not extend infinitely in time (i.e. you are not omnitemporal: there are temporal regions where you do not exist).
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    (Original post by Juichiro)
    We do not extend infinitely in space (i.e. you are not omnipresent: there are spatial regions where you do not exist) so it is not surprising that we do not extend infinitely in time (i.e. you are not omnitemporal: there are temporal regions where you do not exist).
    im grateful to hear all these different opinions, thanks for your reply.
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    a human asking for an afterlife is like a computer asking to be turned on without being plugged in :lol:
 
 
 
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