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Why the after life probably isn't true as far as I can tell.

Discussion in 'General Afterlife Discussions' started by Club Tropicana, Sep 30, 2017.

  1. Club Tropicana

    Club Tropicana New Member

    As far as we can tell all of our thoughts, choices, feelings etc are all based on the neurophysiological activity in the brain. We have very very good reasons to believe this is the case, infact we know which specific parts of the brain are associated with thought, emotion, movement etc. We have no evidence or reason to believe any of these things are operating independently from the brain at all. I don't know how others are defining consciousness. To me consciousness is just being aware of your senses and thoughts and although we don't know how consciousness works exactly or how it functions (which is why people shoehorn magic into it as an explanation) we can observe a correlation between neuropsychological changes and consciousness/lack of consciousness. If you sleep you lose consciousness because of physical, biological changes in your head that are observable and detectable by science. We have no examples of consciousness operating without a brain.

    Based on what we know about the brain it appears that we are nothing more than a biological robot witnessing our brain create thoughts, choices, emotions and everything else we associate with being alive. We are essentially observing a computer processor working from inside our head. Your decisions to go left instead of right, cheat on a spouse or decide it's morally wrong and avoid it, choose the blue car over the red bike, thinking the thoughts you're thinking now, moving in the way you're moving now, losing interest or not losing interest then either deciding to read on or not etc are all created completely independently of any conscious control by neurological activity in your brain which predate and give rise to the particular decision that you make or thought you had. Your brain is literally everything that makes you you, it is your personality and your thoughts, emotions and senses. No extra special extra part of you that acts independently from the neurological activity in your head has ever been demonstrated to exist.

    Due to the fact our brain is entirely responsible for every millisecond of our experiences and actions I am extremely skeptical of any form of existence after its death. We can observe how somebodies entire personality and cognitive function can be drastically altered and worsened by damage to the brain or through drink or drugs. Is there really a good reason to believe that once the brain dies some magic soul (that remains entirely undetectable by science and that we have no reason to believe exists) somehow floats free from it completely unscaved? If some form of consciousness does exist what would be the differences between being conscious and not being conscious if it has no brain to generate any experiences from or thoughts to think?

    People claim to have near death experiences but none of these stories can actually be verified to confirm that they're true, they fail when we attempt to test them under scientific conditions and we have no reason at all to believe they aren't just the result of a dying brain and as we all have similar enough brains it makes sense that people would have similar experiences of a tunnel or whatever else it may be. Why doesn't everybody who "dies" have these experiences? Why do many other people claim that it's a complete and total lack of any awareness like they have been put under for an operation?

    I believe the reason so many of us are so receptive to the idea of religions or ghosts, recantation or afterlifes etc is because people want a pill that grants them immortality. The bottom line though however is that if we're being intellectually honest we really have no evidence for any form of consciousness existing independently of a brain.

    I'm not making the assertion that an after life does not exist, I just don't believe we are justified in believing that it does.

    Perhaps you have some other idea of the afterlife that I haven't represented here and if that is the case I would be interested in hearing it and trying to address it (if anyone made it to the end.)

  2. youhadtobethere

    youhadtobethere New Member

    What's your take on biocentrism?
  3. Maria

    Maria Member

    It is a bit ironic to find a sceptical post questioning the continuation of life after death on a forum dedicated to the afterlife. For every argument that science may put forward to say there is no proof that the soul exists, there will always be the logical counter defence of how can it be proved that it does not. Perhaps some NDEs are nothing more than hallucinations, but what about cases where patients saw activities carried out by doctors and nurses that were observed while being out of the body and looking down when hovering above. In my opinion perhaps the greatest proof is where witnesses assert to have seen a vapourish mist or in some cases a beautiful light, rise up from the body of a dying person – could this not be the soul? Furthermore there have been many accounts of death bed visions where relatives of the dying have seen spirits appear in the room, or where the patient remarks that they see people appearing who they think are alive, but in fact have died, but this was kept a secret due to their illness. I really think death bed visions prove even more than NDEs that there is an afterlife, and that consciousness or the soul, exists independent of the mind and brain. Finally, there is that often mentioned fact that energy can neither be created or destroyed. I would like to have your response to this, Club Tropicana.
    Eleven Lives and enby like this.
  4. mac

    mac senior member Staff Member

    As Maria says it's pretty pointless your posting on a website devoted to afterlife matters when you see so many issues in the way you do. Similar points have been discussed individually in other conversations and raising all of 'em in one posting is too many.

    It appears you aren't persuaded there is anything to follow this life so why would anyone want to dissuade you? You're happy with your ideas, we're happy with what we know and are prepared to observe and discuss anything new.

    You might do better on Skeptico or Psience Quest.
    kim marine, Rising and Eleven Lives like this.
  5. mac

    mac senior member Staff Member

    What's yours?
  6. RobertaGrimes

    RobertaGrimes Administrator

    You are entitled to believe what you like, but your post here suggests that you have given this issue no research time whatsoever and you have no interest in learning anything that might contradict your personal beliefs. Why, then, have you bothered to register here at all? And why have you taken the time to write so much nonsense?
    kim marine, Rising and Widdershins3 like this.
  7. mac

    mac senior member Staff Member

    Are we, perhaps, being visited by a certain former member? It's mac's over-sensitive nature, perhaps, but I'm seeing stuff on ALF recently that looks very familiar to what happened in 2013.
    Kurt likes this.
  8. enby

    enby New Member

    lol they'll just throw everything you said out cuz it doesn't fit their materialist framework.

    also very similar to the patient seeing passed on ppl they didn't know had died, there's ppl in general having loved ones(who especially live somewhere else completely mind you) suddenly appearing to them, and then finding out they had passed on basically right when they had seen them
    Rising likes this.
  9. RobertaGrimes

    RobertaGrimes Administrator

    Of course, dear Enby. The evidence is everywhere and it is overwhelming, but there are people who simply don't want to know about it.
    Widdershins3 likes this.
  10. mac

    mac senior member Staff Member

    There may be a different agenda altogether, not exactly how things appear..... :D;)
  11. youhadtobethere

    youhadtobethere New Member

    Have you?
    Widdershins3 likes this.
  12. Rassie

    Rassie Member

    Are you asking this of Roberta? Then the answer is yes!
  13. jimrich

    jimrich Active Member

    Who/what is this "we"?

    It's simply the sense or feeling: "I am".

    Perhaps you do but I do not........I AM consciousness!

    Consciousness does not need a "brain" to operate but a brain needs consciousness to operate or even exist.

    What "we"?

    Widdershins3, Rising and Eleven Lives like this.
  14. Eleven Lives

    Eleven Lives New Member

    That thoughts are based on neurophysiology cannot imply that thoughts are neurophysiology. Indeed, this is what makes the problem of consciousness hard. Before asking about a life after death, we should ask why human brains muar generate a subjective, first-person conscious experience while other intelligent systems, ranging from computers running AI implementations to the brains of dragonflies, do not. We can imagine an android Sue with all the same electrochemical workings a human Sue has, performing the same cognitive functions, yet withou subjective awareness. If limited to observing behavior from the outside, we cannot tell which Sue is the android.

    To me, there’s something vaguely unsatisfying in consciousness as epiphenomenon, a foam or fluff decorating physical processes which have no need for such a sideshow. We need more insight into consciousness itself before we can possess a foundation for discussing an afterlife—the issue of what happens conscious experience when the platform supporting it, the human brain, is destroyed.

    Materialist explanations of consciousness assign it no causal role or agency whatsoever; just riding piggyback on the activity of the brain. That makes it the only processes in this cosmos without the ability to influence any other physical event. Which doesn’t make sense. I’m stumped. Is anyone else?

    (Rewritten for clarity & brevity, 0920hrs UT, October 8, 2017)
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2017
  15. mac

    mac senior member Staff Member

    This approach would likely appeal to others of a similar viewpoint and although I don't have statistics to support my view I'd guess that the majority of seekers coming to ALF aren't here to consider such issues.

    Anyone grieving the loss of a loved one is more likely to be looking for reassurance that they have not lost them forever.
    Eleven Lives likes this.
  16. Eleven Lives

    Eleven Lives New Member

    As am I. I want to be reunited with my grandparents, all four of them now deceased. Still, I think we need a better understanding of the basic nature of consciousness itself before we can assess its chances for surviving the apparently disposable life support system, the human body, housing it on Earth.

    John Searle poses us the Chinese Room, in which a team of persons who don’t know a word of Chinese nonetheless process, and respond to, Chinese-language inputs, using a rule-based system to accomplish this feat. This though experiment shows up the limitations of our conceptual frameworks.

    The Dawkinsian disposable DNA canister doesn’t hold water for me. Our consciousness, although requiring a “hardware” platform to run on, is more than just a foam on the ocean of swirling material particles. I think it has fair odds of surviving death, or of being resurrected back into existence after we’ve died. We are more than just receptacles for our DNA. We are sentient beings, each enjoying a rich inner mental universe that “models” or represents the outside world for us. :)
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2017
  17. mac

    mac senior member Staff Member

    I think that YOU are the one who needs a better appreciation of the whole picture if you are to stand any chance of understanding it. Those here who already have that understanding know that you will be re-united with those you love and have now passed on but we don't expect you to take our word for it.

    You are free to make your choice and I'm happy to leave you to it. Continue with your present approach or consider an alternative one. If you're happy with debating Searle and Dawkins then stay on that path. Perhaps others here will join and accompany you.
    Eleven Lives likes this.
  18. genewardsmith

    genewardsmith Active Member

  19. genewardsmith

    genewardsmith Active Member

    To assume that consciousness arises from the brain is to wade into difficult metaphysical waters. What has been of late called the "Hard problem of consciousness" asks how it is possible that the brain, which seems to be a machine for producing behavior, can produce consciousness at all. One possible solution is to reject the premise, and say instead that consciousness arises from somewhere else, and attaches itself to the brain in a way which reflects and to some extent controls its activity. This is not a popular view in scientific circles, but for the most part I am talking about people who have not examined the full range of the evidence.

  20. RobertaGrimes

    RobertaGrimes Administrator

    It's not a popular view in scientific circles because if it's true - and in fact, it is true - then the "core scientific dogma" of materialism that has been in place for a century in mainstream science is fundamentally in error, and a lot of the scientific work of the entire twentieth century will have to be redone. But that's what you get when you turn what should be an open-minded search for the truth into a mere belief-system!

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