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#15051 - 11/28/08 05:37 PM Consciousness and Death
Succubus666 Offline
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Registered: 10/17/07
Posts: 161
I’m certain that discussions about death and the afterlife have come up in other posts, but I would like to find out what people’s perspectives are on it directly in relation to your own individual consciousness. For years I have been studying verifiable evidence that consciousness survives death (The Afterlife Experiments is a book I would recommend) and at this point I have no doubt that it does, but how or in what manner is a question science has yet to find an answer to. It’s clear that these ideas of heaven and hell, judgment and reward are only the advent of various close-minded religions, there to offer up their own definition of things to the ignorant masses and instill fear as a means to control. I have no interest in any dogmatic perception of life after death, and I actually think that society is still fighting the stereotype that in order for someone to believe that consciousness continues on after physical death they have to belong to one religion or another.

I’ve also found that while there are some credible clairvoyants, psychics, energy readers, clairsentients, etc. in the world, there are also those who label themselves as such but have abilities equal to that of a carnival act. I would draw a comparison to actual Satanists versus the way the entertainment industry portrays their version of Satanism in movies and on television. I’m curious how many people here may have had an experience with a legitimate psychic that may have offered some insight into the individual consciousness of those who have passed on and answered any questions about the manner in which consciousness shifts from the physical to being energy-based.

I’m also curious if there are any people who would define themselves as Satanists but would refuse to believe that consciousness survives death at all, despite the resounding scientific evidence that exists in the world today. My opinions and conclusions have always been based directly on logic and evidence and I’ve always made a point to research any subject which I actually find relevant to my personal quest for enlightenment. At the same time it has been my experience that most people who choose to dismiss the notion of consciousness surviving death are people who haven’t bothered looking at the evidence, or who have formed their opinions based on assumptions or the bad reputation of the previously mentioned carnival acts. It does not seem Satanic in my opinion to blindly dismiss anything based on the opinion of the ignorant social majority.

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#15053 - 11/28/08 05:52 PM Re: Consciousness and Death [Re: Succubus666]
Dan_Dread Offline
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Registered: 10/08/08
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Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Ok I'll bite.

I most certainly define myself as a Satanist, and I also find the idea of consciousness surviving death highly unlikely.

You say there is 'resounding scientific evidence' to the contrary.

Where have they been hiding it? Believe me I have searched. Care to share?

All the evidence I have ever seen points to consciousness being an effect of the physical brain.
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#15054 - 11/28/08 06:10 PM Re: Consciousness and Death [Re: Succubus666]
blsk Offline
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Registered: 09/22/08
Posts: 298
Loc: salem or
People are incapable of imagining what it will feel like to be dead because we have never experienced a lack of consciousness. In fact, it won’t feel like anything, and therein lies the problem. The brain is like any other organ, a part of our physical body. The mind is what the brain does; it’s more a verb than it is a noun.

Thomas W. Clark wrote: Here ... is the view at issue: When we die, what’s next is nothing; death is an abyss, a black hole, the end of experience; it is eternal nothingness, the permanent extinction of being. And here, in a nutshell, is the error contained in that view: It is to reify nothingness—make it a positive condition or quality (for example, of “blackness”)—and then to place the individual in it after death, so that we somehow fall into nothingness, to remain there eternally.

When you die you will never know you have died. You may feel yourself slipping away, but it isn’t as though there will be a “you” around who is capable of ascertaining that. You need a working cerebral cortex to harbor propositional knowledge of any sort, including the fact that you’ve died.

You cannot imagine your own non-existence. To do so you would have to imagine that you perceive or know about your non-existence. You possess an arsenal of psychological defenses designed to keep your death anxiety at bay. When you begin to die your brain and body is flooded with endorphins produced by the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus creating a sense of well-being.

I am comfortable with the fact their is nothing after as I have no reason to believe in such a thing. If their is, however, great(I hope). Shit, gotta go...
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#15055 - 11/28/08 06:27 PM Re: Consciousness and Death [Re: Dan_Dread]
6Satan6Archist6 Offline
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In my life I have had a few experiences of the “paranormal”. However, there is just as much of a chance that it was nothing more than my imagination as there is of it being a real experience. I can’t see consciousness surviving death as being a pleasant thing. In fact I believe it would be quite boring.

To accept the idea that consciousness survives death; one must accept the idea that consciousness comes not from the living brain, but some outside source. This outside source is known to many as a soul. The soul is what many religions believe receives the judgment/reward/punishment in the afterlife. If such a thing were to exist both during life and after death one must assume that it also exists before life. Therefore one must also assume that one’s consciousness exists before life. That is a far reaching and ludicrous assumption to make in my opinion.

“For years I have been studying verifiable evidence that consciousness survives death (The Afterlife Experiments is a book I would recommend) and at this point I have no doubt that it does, but how or in what manner is a question science has yet to find an answer to.”

If they can’t explain how or in what manner it survives than how can they say it survives at all? There needs to needs to be at least some verified form of it surviving before that claim can be made.
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#15057 - 11/28/08 06:37 PM Re: Consciousness and Death [Re: Dan_Dread]
Succubus666 Offline
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Registered: 10/17/07
Posts: 161
For the absolute cynic I would recommend reading The Afterlife Experiments as previously mentioned. It was written by one of the most highly educated authors that I am aware of on this subject matter. In fact, Gary E. Schwartz, Ph.D. was the first person to actually entertain the notion of setting up laboratory experiments to find ways to measure and study the legitimacy and accuracy of psychic phenomenon, specifically people who were able to communicate with deceased persons. The experiments were highly controlled and always recorded. In some of the experiments the psychics were put in rooms with complete strangers that they could not see, who could only answer yes or no to their questions. They were given zero information about the person, yet managed to convey very specific personal information (things like a daughter having an abortion two days ago, or having a son that died at the age of 37 while driving a blue car that got hit by a drunk driver in the winter). Dead loved ones conveyed messages that would only have made sense to that one person (a childhood memory that no one knew about but the two of them). Of course no psychic was even one hundred percent accurate. Several explained receiving information like a fuzzy radio signal that cut in and out, so it ultimately came down to being able to make translations, which is something that human error will always be caught up in. There is an interesting quote from the book:

“All systems, in the process of becoming and remaining whole, store information dynamically. Systems are composed of component parts that share information and energy - from atoms and chemicals, through cells and organisms, to planets, galaxies, and the universe as a whole. Mathematical logic leads to the conclusion not only that all systems are ‘alive’ to various degrees, but also that this information continues as a living, evolving energy system after the physical structure has ceased to exist.”

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#15058 - 11/28/08 06:40 PM Re: Consciousness and Death [Re: 6Satan6Archist6]
Fabiano Offline
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Registered: 09/06/08
Posts: 374
 Quote:
Therefore one must also assume that one’s consciousness exists before life. That is a far reaching and ludicrous assumption to make in my opinion.


Not more than existing after life in the buddhist reincarnation system.

As I just said in an other post, mind without body is a chimera.


Edited by Fabiano (11/28/08 06:41 PM)

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#15061 - 11/28/08 06:59 PM Re: Consciousness and Death [Re: Fabiano]
6Satan6Archist6 Offline
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Registered: 10/16/08
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I don't know too much about the buddhist idea of reincarnation, but I doubt if any of us will be "re-born"

I do believe in a sort of reincarnation but in a differnt way. All things are made up atoms. As far as we know these atoms never really dissapear but instead are reformed to make new things.

So in a way we will still exist after death. Not consciouss but maybe as a part of another living thing. Maybe as a part of some inanimate object.

While it may be a wierd idea, it is also an interesting one.
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#15062 - 11/28/08 07:01 PM Re: Consciousness and Death [Re: Fabiano]
Fabiano Offline
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Registered: 09/06/08
Posts: 374
I wrote my previous post before seeing last Tala's one.

So I would say I'm opened to consider changing my views if proofs exists. But as Dan said, I didn't saw such proofs up to now.

I would like to finish "The Prince" before starting an other book, so be patient for my comment "The Afterlife Experiments" \:\)

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#15063 - 11/28/08 07:05 PM Re: Consciousness and Death [Re: 6Satan6Archist6]
Fabiano Offline
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Registered: 09/06/08
Posts: 374
 Quote:
I don't know too much about the buddhist idea of reincarnation, but I doubt if any of us will be "re-born"


Don't misunderstand me. I didn't say I beleive in reincarnation. I just wanted to point out that in that system consciousness before life is not more stupid than counsciousness after life.

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#15064 - 11/28/08 07:13 PM Re: Consciousness and Death [Re: Fabiano]
Dan_Dread Offline
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Registered: 10/08/08
Posts: 3813
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Yes, I am aware of Gary Shwartz. He is a steadfast supporter of intelligent design, and is also the author of "The G.O.D. Experiments: How Science Is Discovering God In Everything, Including Us "

He is also a well known shyster on the same level as Sylvia Brown
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6834964643442474141

He has also been dodging James Randis Million dollar challenge for years
http://www.randi.org/jr/03-23-2001.html

So you'll excuse me if I ask for a more credible source than this?
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#15065 - 11/28/08 07:15 PM Re: Consciousness and Death [Re: 6Satan6Archist6]
Succubus666 Offline
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Registered: 10/17/07
Posts: 161
Years ago it was a fact that the Earth was flat and that the sun revolved around it. Science found a way to prove the Earth was round, that it revolved around the sun. Before we understood the human reproductive system, it was thought by some people that a virgin could spontaneously become pregnant and then give birth. What use to be thought of as demonic possession or curses is now known to be chemical imbalances and physiological irregularities. I could list hundreds of things that once were considered facts that over time science found a way to measure and explain, in fields ranging in everything from biology to physics. Logically we know that there are things which exist that science cannot fully explain. We’ve barely tapped the surface of what lies within the human brain, what the universe is made of, how it all functions and interconnects. I would suggest not reverting to the thought processes of medieval times and assuming that just because the technology had not yet been invented to measure something, that means that something is non-existent.

Are there any students of quantum physics here? It’s an interesting fact quantum physicists have now proven that things are connected on a much deeper level than what the world originally believed. It was basically thought that only higher forms of life stored energy; now it’s understood that even rocks and other inanimate objects are actually vibrating at a subatomic level. People, for example, vibrate at an extremely high level and inanimate object vibrate at an extremely low level. Most people know for example that the colors we perceive aren’t actually there, it’s just our eyes translating information before it reaches the brain. It’s been proven that different colors vibrate at different levels - that is how our brains translate them. Now if you understand that basic premise, you can dig a little deeper and understand the next level, that at a subatomic level there is no such thing as separation, everything is literally connected by these particles at the smallest level. They are all vibrating, responding to one another, and exchanging information the same way the cells in our bodies do. There is no such thing as separation, it’s merely the way our brain perceives objects that are vibrating at different levels and different frequencies.

Our consciousness is embedded into physical form for as long as the physical body remains viable. We are experiencing life via the sensory perception of our body - touch, taste, smell, hearing, seeing. So how would you explain what colors are to a person that was born without eyesight? You cannot say that colors do not exist, but you can explain color with the simple understanding that it is something certain people do not have the capacity to perceive. At the same level, most people do not have the capacity to perceive the energies and vibrations outside of what their physical bodies allow them to. Clairvoyants, clairsentients, etc. are simply people who were born with or developed a higher level of awareness (perhaps they are even the next level of evolution in humanity) through the physical senses. Just because you or I may not have the senses they have, does that mean they are not real any more than it means color is not real?

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#15068 - 11/28/08 08:22 PM Re: Consciousness and Death [Re: Succubus666]
Jake999 Offline
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Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 2230
 Originally Posted By: Tala de Sade
Just because you or I may not have the senses they have, does that mean they are not real any more than it means color is not real?


Not "not real," rather UNPROVEN. And in some ways, that can be more damning, since their credibility in not being able to show demonstrable AND replicable results will always leave their abilities open to question.

In a simple example, we have a "psychic" who claims to be able to tell what a card is, looking only at the back of the card. You hold up a card and they say, "Eight of Hearts." CONGRATULATIONS! Lo and behold, it's the Eight of Hearts. You hold up another card and they say, "Two of Hearts." No cigar, it was the Seven of Clubs. This goes on for an hour, wrong card after wrong card until, "Ten of Spades." CORRECT.

To the "psychic," it could be a validation, because they managed to get two right. To the researcher, it would show randomality, in that "even a broken clock is right twice a day." It boils down to a matter of faith in the ability of the psychic and in the possibility that the experiment is humanly possible to complete successfully in the first place, let alone replicate enough times to show that randomality is not in place.

The burden of proof will always have to be on the shoulders of those who make the claim of paranormal accomplishment. They have the luxury of belief based soley on faith. To specifically declare reality, those engaged in true research through rational experimentation and metrics require much more.
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#15087 - 11/29/08 05:09 AM Re: Consciousness and Death [Re: Succubus666]
Diavolo Offline
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I refuse to believe consciousness survives the death of its vessel. I am reasonable informed about consciousness and its requirements and see no valid option on how it ever can survive the death of the brain it is an epiphenomenon of.

There might be a possibility in the future but it would require such an advanced technological level that it seems close to impossible. If not totally.

I never seen any reasonable evidence, or even a theory, that makes me doubt my position on this.

PS: on the afterlife experiments

 Quote:
Conclusions
So what is the bottom line? The Afterlife Experiments describes a program of experiments described in four reports using mediums and sitters. The studies were methodologically defective in a number of important ways, not the least of which was that they were not double-blind. Despite these defects, the authors of the reports claim that their mediums were accessing information by paranormal means and that the application of Occam’s Razor leads to the conclusion that the mediums are indeed in contact with the departed friends and relatives of the sitters. Schwartz’s demand that the skeptics provide an alternative explanation to their results is clearly unwarranted because of the lack of scientifically acceptable evidence. A fifth report describes a study that was designed to be a true double-blind experiment. The outcome, by any accepted statistical and methodological standard, failed to support the hypothesis of the survival of consciousness. Yet the experimenters offer the results as a "breathtaking" validation of their claims about the existence of the afterlife. This is another unfortunate example of trying to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.


Critiquing the Afterlife Experiments

D.


Edited by Diavolo (11/29/08 05:26 AM)
Edit Reason: added ps

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#15088 - 11/29/08 05:57 AM Re: Consciousness and Death [Re: Succubus666]
Diavolo Offline
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Registered: 09/02/07
Posts: 4997
 Quote:
We’ve barely tapped the surface of what lies within the human brain, what the universe is made of, how it all functions and interconnects. I would suggest not reverting to the thought processes of medieval times and assuming that just because the technology had not yet been invented to measure something, that means that something is non-existent.


I think you subject yourself to some fundamental flaws in thinking with this one. A + B does not necessary equal C.
We know a lot about the brain and also that effects on the brain have effects on consciousness. If consciousness was an external entity, not limited to survival on his host, effects on the brain would have no effects on consciousness. If someone suffers Alzheimer and his storage gets slowly deleted, would that, after his death, leave him with a blank consciousness? The same for permanent brain damage. And how would a not subject to evolution consciousness develop. Does it develop in us when born or does it possess us? If it doesn't infiltrate us when being born and is subject to the body and brain at that stage, what is the reason it would seperate after death? It's totally contradicting evolution. Why would a human evolve and become smarter when consciousness has found some ways to sidestep it?

The fact that science has come a long way and cannot explain everything does not necessarily lead to the conclusion that therefor everything imaginable is possible. If I see a grasshopper fall from 100 times his height and handle it without a problem, I would be called insane for stating that maybe I can also fall from 100 times my height and handle it.

This rule applies also for quantum mechanics. It's not because there is certain behavior at a micro-level that it automatically follows that it is therefor also possible at a macro-level or that such behavior is positive evidence for the existance of other.

Again, I'm highly skeptical and evidence or theories supporting are often flawed but at times not realized.

D.

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#15102 - 11/29/08 01:02 PM Re: Consciousness and Death [Re: Diavolo]
6Satan6Archist6 Offline
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Registered: 10/16/08
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"I would suggest not reverting to the thought processes of medieval times and assuming that just because the technology had not yet been invented to measure something, that means that something is non-existent."

I am most definitely not "reverting to the thought process of medieval times. People back then would be more inclined to believe the idea of consciousness surving death. It fits with their delusion of god so well. If theses people you speak of can't say in what manner it survives, they have no right to say that it survives all. To do so is to make a claim with no validity. It is like the really toy that the kid at school has. He forgot to bring it today, but he'll bring tomorrow or the day after that, or the day after that. Until you really start to doubt that he even has it all.

"Before we understood the human reproductive system, it was thought by some people that a virgin could spontaneously become pregnant and then give birth."

People still believe that a virgin can spontaneously become pregnant. Immaculate conception is one of the corner stones of Christian mythology.

"What use to be thought of as demonic possession or curses is now known to be chemical imbalances and physiological irregularities."

Chemical imbalances are just as made up as the idea of consciousness surviving death. Their is no way to prove any balance at all. Chemical imblance is merely a term made up by psychiatrists to sell their posion to people the world over.
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