Death - a correct scientific approach for surviving it

Does consciousness survive death?

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Re: Death - a correct scientific approach for surviving it

#161  Postby darwin2 » Nov 17, 2010 5:17 pm

chairman bill wrote:darwin2, your understanding of statistics & probability is erroneous. That said, let's entertain the vague possibility that consciousness survives death; in that case, yes, the scientific method might well be our best bet in terms of understand the new reality of survival of bodily death. But then again, it might not. The scientific method works in our material universe. In a non-material existence, who knows what laws may or may not apply? Maybe then our best guide will be some magical intution, with science leading us astray.


It is possible that in the afterdeath world the laws of physics may be radically different from ours. But the Scientific Method helped us to learn the laws of physics in this world and I have confidence it would help us learn the laws of physics in the next world if such a world exists.
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Re: Death - a correct scientific approach for surviving it

#162  Postby orpheus » Nov 17, 2010 5:19 pm

darwin2 wrote:
chairman bill wrote:darwin2, your understanding of statistics & probability is erroneous. That said, let's entertain the vague possibility that consciousness survives death; in that case, yes, the scientific method might well be our best bet in terms of understand the new reality of survival of bodily death. But then again, it might not. The scientific method works in our material universe. In a non-material existence, who knows what laws may or may not apply? Maybe then our best guide will be some magical intution, with science leading us astray.


It is possible that in the afterdeath world the laws of physics may be radically different from ours. But the Scientific Method helped us to learn the laws of physics in this world and I have confidence it would help us learn the laws of physics in the next world if such a world exists.


Well, if you have confidence, that's different. We're all set, then.
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Re: Death - a correct scientific approach for surviving it

#163  Postby darwin2 » Nov 17, 2010 5:28 pm

Steve wrote:
The Egg
By: Andy Weir

You were on your way home when you died.
It was a car accident. Nothing particularly remarkable, but fatal nonetheless. You left behind a wife and two children. It was a painless death. The EMTs tried their best to save you, but to no avail. Your body was so utterly shattered you were better off, trust me.
And that’s when you met me.
“What… what happened?” You asked. “Where am I?”
“You died,” I said, matter-of-factly. No point in mincing words.


more


That's excellent! I read the whole poem. It is a great possibility to contemplate.
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Re: Death - a correct scientific approach for surviving it

#164  Postby darwin2 » Nov 17, 2010 5:50 pm

Lion IRC wrote:Everybody faces their own death. It’s the ultimate moment of Truth which gets closer each day.

Atheists and theists alike BOTH have coping mechanisms - one says it doesn’t matter, death is NOT the end. The other says it doesn’t matter death IS the end. Both are voluntarily held views about death.

But what if life after death was simply a matter of “believing” in the soul? Your own personal continuation of a journey of existence in a reality which your “soul” can either keep traveling through or, if it is tired, simply give up the journey.

What if the afterlife is a placebo effect and the only thing your soul needs to survive the physical death of the body is conscious exercising of your soul - psyche, ego, chi, free will, mind, anima/animus, etc, call it whatever you like - by doing things which atheists would say are a waste of time (Praying, believing God and the afterlife.) What if the strong soul did not "die" and the sickly weak one did? The ne plus ultra of placebo effects.

There is ample evidence of psycho-cybernetics, where people who, for no other apparent reason, were able to achieve feats of endurance simply because they “believed” they could. Mind over matter.

What if the ability of the soul to continue conscious existence outside the body really was optional? What if the ONE THING needed for your soul to survive an illness called "death" was a strong immune system called "belief".

If you don’t think you have a soul then it doesn’t really matter whether your soul has a weak immune response to the process we “call” dying. But what if the physical/material transformation known as death (as a trauma,) impacts conscious awareness of "reality" differently depending on the individual souls "immune system"? What if atheism is an idea which, if embraced, is to the soul, what smoking is to the lungs? Or to use a different analogy, what if the soul is an entity/energy which can either be concentrated (strengthened) by the vaccine called theism or diluted (weakened) by the sickness called atheism which literally sees the patient embracing no hope of a cure or antidote that can surpass death – no placebo is offered.

Psychoanalysis is sometimes called the talking cure. Words making a person well. Words curing a persons (mental) illness. Think about that for a second. Words (from the mind) curing someone’s sickness.

The connection between mind and body is ....how shall we say..."complex". (Don’t want to say anything which sounds like "woo") But there wouldn’t be too much objection to the claim that your health and immune system are related to mental attitude and the idea of DIS-EASE caused by stress is widely accepted by mainstream medicine.

Well, what if you can strengthen your soul’s immune system like some chi gung exercise to the point where death, when it comes, is not the dissolving of your conscious awareness of reality but a release of concentrated energy – a “big bang” new beginning if you like.

If you insist on believing that there is no God and no soul and no parallel universe called the afterlife, then maybe there doesn’t have to be. You simply get what you expect. Nothing. And on the other hand, maybe you really do reap what you sow when it comes to belief and faith in afterlife reality – even if it is just a holograph...part of some weird quantum "woo" metaphysics.

BTW – The placebo afterlife and spiritual immune system is just an idea about death, the soul and the afterlife for consideration of atheists and agnostics. It’s a thought experiment. Nothing more. Make of it what you will. I wont be debating theology or religious doctrines in this thread. I will read any further comments or responses with interest but don’t bother fisking me or trying to “crash test” my Christian comfort zone. I'm alright Jack! Stress free thank God.

Lion (IRC)


That is an awesome, very poweful and fascinating response. Everything you said is possible.
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Re: Death - a correct scientific approach for surviving it

#165  Postby darwin2 » Nov 17, 2010 5:56 pm

byofrcs wrote:
darwin2 wrote:
byofrcs wrote:

Which statement ? Be precise. Your Emmental of an OP has so many holes in it we wouldn't want something important falling through the gaps.


Here are the precise statements you asked for.

To me when that information is destroyed then your are dead and there is no mechanism in this universe that can recover that information. Same as erasing a hard disk. The information is gone forever. Objectively speaking, this is false unless he knows everything about the universe.



Face facts - you're going to die and you will cease to exist. Objectively speaking this statement is also false. Yes my physical body is going to die but it is possible my consciousness may continue. Even Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens would agree with me.


No, I doubt that "Any rational scientist" would tell me that I am wrong in my approach.

I think you wish your consciousness survives. This is your coping mechanism for non-existence. That's OK but I doubt that these 3 out of the 4 horsemen would agree with your presentation of their point of view in this fallacy of an argument from authority that you seem to be constructing.


I have seen Richard Dawkins answer that it is possible for consciousness to continue after death even though he qualified his answer by saying in his opinion he finds this possibility unlikely.
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Re: Death - a correct scientific approach for surviving it

#166  Postby Weaver » Nov 17, 2010 5:58 pm

So what? Richard Dawkins isn't some sort of idol for us - we don't kowtow to his opinion.

Besides, his opinion doesn't support yours - your contention that the odds are 50:50, for example.
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Re: Death - a correct scientific approach for surviving it

#167  Postby byofrcs » Nov 17, 2010 6:00 pm

darwin2 wrote:
chairman bill wrote:darwin2, your understanding of statistics & probability is erroneous. That said, let's entertain the vague possibility that consciousness survives death; in that case, yes, the scientific method might well be our best bet in terms of understand the new reality of survival of bodily death. But then again, it might not. The scientific method works in our material universe. In a non-material existence, who knows what laws may or may not apply? Maybe then our best guide will be some magical intution, with science leading us astray.


It is possible that in the afterdeath world the laws of physics may be radically different from ours. But the Scientific Method helped us to learn the laws of physics in this world and I have confidence it would help us learn the laws of physics in the next world if such a world exists.


Your whole premise is utter bullshit. If we hit the afterlife then all bets are off. The Methodical Naturalism is a process for this materialistic and natural world. The method has had a few centuries of success and has pushed the utter crap of theology and the supernatural into the gaps occupied by the deluded and the tabloids.

In all probability this approach of methodical naturalism will be around for the rest of the existence of humanity. Now if there is an afterlife i.e. if there is a supernatural realm then why the heck would a process we use in this natural world ever work in the supernatural realm which the whole process of methodical naturalism doesn't even suggest exists ?

That sounds utterly deluded.

So screw science in the afterlife. Numerous repeated experiments, tedious documentation with references, grant applications, peer reviews and god know what else - I'm after my 72 virgins or my turn in Valhalla drinking mead and meat or whatever it is we're supposed to do.
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Re: Death - a correct scientific approach for surviving it

#168  Postby byofrcs » Nov 17, 2010 6:04 pm

darwin2 wrote:....

I have seen Richard Dawkins answer that it is possible for consciousness to continue after death even though he qualified his answer by saying in his opinion he finds this possibility unlikely.


Reference please.
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Re: Death - a correct scientific approach for surviving it

#169  Postby darwin2 » Nov 17, 2010 6:17 pm

Wuffy wrote:
Rubicon wrote:
Indeed, what-if's are the only thing darwin2 has given us after 8 pages of discussion. So far he has wrongly assumed that simply because consciousness might persist after death, that his claim is somehow a scientific statement worthy of scientific inquiry. Apparently he missed the part in science class where it is explained that science only deals with reality and not fantasies and wishful thinking. Science goes where the evidence leads it. Darwin2 has repeatedly admitted that he has none whatsoever.

His most profound failure is that he apparently thinks scientists erect blind assertions and then go looking for evidence to fit said assertion. This is utter FAIL. Scientists base their conclusions upon the available evidence, not the other way around. Darwin2 is assuming the conclusion ("consciousness may persist after death") and then suggests scientists should go looking for evidence for his fabrication. This is simply not how science works. So his persisting in claiming that his assertions are in any way scientific, are laughable at best, for the simple fact that he admittedly has no evidence whatsoever for said assertions.

Furthermore, even though he has been asked several times, he has failed to answer the question why his claim should be considered less absurd than claims about invisible pink unicorns, aliens in my backyard, purple fig leaves the size of Wales and orbiting teapots and should therefore be considered more worthy of scientific inquiry. He has not provided any arguments, only his personal opinion and a seemingly emotional attachment to his fantasy.

"What if" and utter failure to understand the scientific method is all we have so far.


While I disagree with his premise and idea's you do him a disservice by getting his question wrong.

What Darwin2 asked was if one were to be found in the afterlife, should we use the scientific method.
Now, if we do, well it would be interesting, but telling oneself to apply logic and critical thought should come naturally, now if a big magic man turns up and says. "Booga, you should have believed." Well I'll be sure to tell him to send down more evidence.

Now, to Darwin2... What in the world were you expecting when coming up with a hugely odd following and line of supposition then as us to be logical and rational about how we should be logical and rational after death. Even though these as all evidence points to the fact those are factors from our brains.

So, like everyone else has tried to tell you. Don't put the cart before the horse. Find evidence then build theory, it might be nice to think about what if I get to keep going after I die, but there is no such evidence.


At this point in time as far as I know evidence that would meet the criteria of scientific evidence does not exist. Death does exist and the evidence for it is abundant. Death affects every living creature on our planet. Since we are going to die why not give some thought occasionally to what may happen after our very short lived bodies die. If the Scientific Method has helped us understand the laws of physics in this life, the Scientific Method may well help us understand the laws of physics in an afterlife if such a life takes place. Occasional thinking on this possibility won't hurt but it may make the transition to an afterlife much easier if an afterlife exists.
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Re: Death - a correct scientific approach for surviving it

#170  Postby darwin2 » Nov 17, 2010 6:22 pm

Weaver wrote:So you don't have an answer, then. You could just say so, you know ...


I do have an answer. Yes, I know it is possible for consciousness to survive death. Yes, I know it is possible for consciousness to end with death.
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Re: Death - a correct scientific approach for surviving it

#171  Postby Rubicon » Nov 17, 2010 7:19 pm

darwin2 wrote:
Rubicon wrote:Are you deliberately being obtuse here? This doesn't answer my question at all. I asked why you think your proposed claim about consciousness persisting after death is less absurd than the ones about invisible blue baboons on Saturn and purple fig leaves the size of Wales? What objective criteria do you use to determine that your claim is less absurd, and should therefore be considered more worthy as an area of scientific investigation? What do you have to offer, other than your opinion and your emotional attachment to your idea?

I suggest you read my reply to SafeAs Milk on page 8 of this thread made at 8:27am.

I did. This is what you said:
I doubt if anyone on this thread cares about the existence or non-existence of an invisible pink unicorn. But death is real and it should be a concern of everyone. Consciousness may end at death or it may continue after death of the physical body. I think it is wise to have a plan for the contingency that consciousness may continue after death.

Personal opinion. Check.
Emotional attachment. Check.
Wishful thinking. Check.
Answer to question. Negative. Again.

Who cares what your opinion on what you think should be a concern to everyone is? Statements about invisible pink unicorns are not less absurd than yours just because you say so. If you repeat this nonsense one more time I will report you for preaching.

Now please be so kind as to answer this simplest of questions:

Statement [1]: Consciousness may persist after death.
Statement [2]: Invisible pink unicorns may exist.

Question: What objective criteria do you use to determine that statement [1] is less absurd than statement [2]?
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Re: Death - a correct scientific approach for surviving it

#172  Postby darwin2 » Nov 17, 2010 8:35 pm

Weaver wrote:So what? Richard Dawkins isn't some sort of idol for us - we don't kowtow to his opinion.

Besides, his opinion doesn't support yours - your contention that the odds are 50:50, for example.



I am going to make a confession here. I ask all of you who have been offended by this action to have mercy on me as I beg your forgiveness for this almost unforgiveable action. I have made an egregious error in stating my subjective opinion that the odds are 50:50. I am not a mathematician and I apologize for my mathematic deficiencies. However I stand by my contention that it is possible for consciousness to survive death.
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Re: Death - a correct scientific approach for surviving it

#173  Postby Ingenuity Gap » Nov 17, 2010 8:46 pm

darwin2 wrote:
Weaver wrote:So what? Richard Dawkins isn't some sort of idol for us - we don't kowtow to his opinion.

Besides, his opinion doesn't support yours - your contention that the odds are 50:50, for example.



I am going to make a confession here. I ask all of you who have been offended by this action to have mercy on me as I beg your forgiveness for this almost unforgiveable action. I have made an egregious error in stating my subjective opinion that the odds are 50:50. I am not a mathematician and I apologize for my mathematic deficiencies.

If you have no idea about statistics, then stop using statistics to prove your case. If you want to be objective, that is.

darwin2 wrote:However I stand by my contention that it is possible for consciousness to survive death.

And I stand by my assertion that it's not possible. Now what? We can exchange assertions 'till kingdom come, but do you have any evidence that is possible for consciousness to survive death? Do you have a mechanism for that? You must, or you woudn't be so adamant on it. Why don't you share that evidence with us?
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Re: Death - a correct scientific approach for surviving it

#174  Postby darwin2 » Nov 17, 2010 9:02 pm

byofrcs wrote:
darwin2 wrote:
chairman bill wrote:darwin2, your understanding of statistics & probability is erroneous. That said, let's entertain the vague possibility that consciousness survives death; in that case, yes, the scientific method might well be our best bet in terms of understand the new reality of survival of bodily death. But then again, it might not. The scientific method works in our material universe. In a non-material existence, who knows what laws may or may not apply? Maybe then our best guide will be some magical intution, with science leading us astray.


It is possible that in the afterdeath world the laws of physics may be radically different from ours. But the Scientific Method helped us to learn the laws of physics in this world and I have confidence it would help us learn the laws of physics in the next world if such a world exists.


Your whole premise is utter bullshit. If we hit the afterlife then all bets are off. The Methodical Naturalism is a process for this materialistic and natural world. The method has had a few centuries of success and has pushed the utter crap of theology and the supernatural into the gaps occupied by the deluded and the tabloids.



In all probability this approach of methodical naturalism will be around for the rest of the existence of humanity. Now if there is an afterlife i.e. if there is a supernatural realm then why the heck would a process we use in this natural world ever work in the supernatural realm which the whole process of methodical naturalism doesn't even suggest exists ?

That sounds utterly deluded.

So screw science in the afterlife. Numerous repeated experiments, tedious documentation with references, grant applications, peer reviews and god know what else - I'm after my 72 virgins or my turn in Valhalla drinking mead and meat or whatever it is we're supposed to do.


If an afterlife exists, the big question of the moment will be will the Scientific Method work there or will it not? I strongly suggest that if there is an afterlife give the Scientific Method a chance. If it works great. If it doesn't try something else.
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Re: Death - a correct scientific approach for surviving it

#175  Postby darwin2 » Nov 17, 2010 9:08 pm

byofrcs wrote:
darwin2 wrote:....

I have seen Richard Dawkins answer that it is possible for consciousness to continue after death even though he qualified his answer by saying in his opinion he finds this possibility unlikely.


Reference please.


Don't be silly. He has been on numerous TV talk shows where this question has been asked of him and his answer was exactly as I described in that post. You can email him if you wish and ask him if what I said is true.
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Re: Death - a correct scientific approach for surviving it

#176  Postby tytalus » Nov 17, 2010 10:21 pm

darwin2 wrote:
byofrcs wrote:
darwin2 wrote:....

I have seen Richard Dawkins answer that it is possible for consciousness to continue after death even though he qualified his answer by saying in his opinion he finds this possibility unlikely.

Reference please.

Don't be silly. He has been on numerous TV talk shows where this question has been asked of him and his answer was exactly as I described in that post. You can email him if you wish and ask him if what I said is true.

Yes, let's not be silly...let's actually cite an example. Given your belated retraction of bogus statistics back from whence they came (ex recto), can you imagine some reason why skeptics would be...well...skeptical of your unsourced claims, darwin2? So here is a snippet from an hour-long interview with Dawkins, some points written down by a listener.

Dawkins can’t say categorically that there is no life after death, but it’s implausible. “Everything we know about how minds work shows that they are bound up with brains, and brains don’t survive death.” Human consciousness evolved by degrees over millions of years. The claim that conscious survives the death of the body “does not ring plausible.”

So, well done citing an authority that does not even agree with you, just for allowing the foot of possibility in the door. It impresses me just how much believers dwell on the logically possible, while struggling to provide the barest shred of credible evidence to back up their fervent hopes and dreams.

But since you're hooked on Dawkins as potential authoritative backup, why don't you respond to his reasonable skepticism about consciousness surviving death, since brains don't. If all it takes is a simple argument by authority, then you're done, shot down by your own source.
Futurama wrote: Bender: Dying sucks butt. How do you living beings cope with mortality?
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Re: DEATH-A CORRECT SCIENTIFIC APPROACH FOR SURVIVING IT

#177  Postby kamel » Nov 17, 2010 10:30 pm

darwin2 wrote:
trubble76 wrote:
darwin2 wrote:

That's a silly, immature and unscientific comment. This is a scientific website. Please be scientific in your responses.


No more silly and immature than the assertions of theists about the afterlife. Unscientific it may be, perhaps at this stage it's worth noting that I am not a scientist. This is not a scientific website, it is a rational scepticism site.
You seem to think atheist = scientist, while this is true in many cases, it is certainly not generally true.


Believing in an after-life is only silly and immature if there is no afterlife. Believing there is no afterlife is only silly and immature if there is an aftrerlife.

I would be disinclined to describe your posts any thing rather than nonsense.life after death is a stupid religious idea.
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Re: Death - a correct scientific approach for surviving it

#178  Postby Lion IRC » Nov 17, 2010 10:41 pm

I was captivated by an interview I saw last night with Mr Hitchens where he speculated momentarily about the afterlife and the soul.

That great singularity called death. Our own personal big bang.

http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/ ... 069457.htm

I always found it bizarre that so few prominent atheists are able to enunciate what an atheist utopia would look like. So much effort arguing against a world WITH religion and so little detail about how 6 billion atheists would live happily ever after.
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Re: Death - a correct scientific approach for surviving it

#179  Postby Blitzkrebs » Nov 17, 2010 10:46 pm

Okay, Lion IRC is here now. So can Cali finally nuke this thread? :mrgreen:
ikster7579 wrote:Being rational is just an excuse for not wanting to have faith.
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Re: Death - a correct scientific approach for surviving it

#180  Postby Lion IRC » Nov 17, 2010 10:55 pm

If any non-theist who thinks the afterlife is bunk writes a 500 word response to Lion's "thin air" they are doing the equivalent of kicking an own goal.

Sometimes Calilasseia doth protest too much.

Very telling!
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