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#4412 - 02/20/08 11:53 PM Gaia Theory
TornadoCreator Offline
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Registered: 10/24/07
Posts: 586
Loc: No Fixed Address
<pointless backstory>
As people probably know now, I come here to find like minded people because all my friends in RL are either Christian and admit it, Christian, claim not to be and call themselves something obscure that with a little digging turns out to be Christianity with a phrase in the bible changed somewhere or in the case of two of my friends Buddhist. Other than them I know two people who identify themselves as Atheist.
</pointless backstory>

Today however, I was talkng to a friend of mine. We've been friends a long time and I know him quite well. When we met he identified himself as Christian but he's never been Christian because when asked "Do you beleive in God?" he said "No" quite definately. What he ment to say was "My parents splashed water on my head as a baby because they're loonatics and believe in an invisible guy who wants to torture me sitting on a cloud", but I digress.

Anyway, this guy doesn't talk much about his views, he's quite solitary, strange really considering how intelligent he is, (one of the few people I know who I honestly think could rival or possibly supass my own intelligence).

So, he told me about Gaia theory. That you brainwaves, your personality and your conciousness leave prints, currently undetected that travel with you after you die. You return to the earth, not just biologically but conciously. He says he doubts it would be conciousness as we see it now but it makes sense to him that we wouldn't simply end that the patterns in our mind would be reflected back into the world and we would become part of a collective whole. This is an interesting idea. Now he agrees it's entirely faith based and holds no scientific merit, it's merely something he beleives makes sense. I was wondering of the opinions of others here as this is a relatively new "faith" as far as I've heard and one that I feel I could actually respect as being at least rational.
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#4414 - 02/21/08 04:06 AM Re: Gaia Theory [Re: TornadoCreator]
DaVinci Offline
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Registered: 02/09/08
Posts: 218
Loc: Australia
Your friend is a complete nutcase and needs/requires urgent medical attention. Jokes..

I think that the Gaia Theory does make quite alot of sense, as it does steer away from that "dead zombie walking the earth" type of manifestation that other faiths tend to lean towards or encourage in others. Honestly, man, that really does make quite a lot of sense. I might not be jumping on the band-wagon to do more research at this present moment - but this is deffinitely something I would like to persue.

I think that's a respectable faith; one that doesn't necessary include the creation of a 'God' but more of a personal manifestation of the self. It's really quite difficult for me to express in words so I will leave it for now. But thank you for the article. It's certainly got me thinking a little more. Good to see some thought-provoking material herein.
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#4415 - 02/21/08 05:48 AM Re: Gaia Theory [Re: DaVinci]
ZephyrGirl Offline
R.I.P.
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Registered: 08/28/07
Posts: 706
Loc: Adelaide Australia
 Quote:
That you brainwaves, your personality and your conciousness leave prints, currently undetected that travel with you after you die.


I don't understand what you mean by undetected brainwaves that travel with you when you die. Do you mean they travel with your physical body or some sort of soul?

ZG
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#4422 - 02/21/08 11:48 AM Re: Gaia Theory [Re: TornadoCreator]
ta2zz Offline
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Registered: 08/28/07
Posts: 1552
Loc: Connecticut

This is a subject for verbal and mental masturbation… At the present point in time we cannot know what if anything exists after death… I myself have left this particular line of thought to the theistic people of the world… Only someone who can believe in make believe could possibly put faith into any single afterlife theory/story…

So now we are back to belief and faith… My faith ends at the tips of my fingers, my belief is wait and see… I am not expecting much except perhaps the wildest trip ever as the brain shuts down flooding the body with endorphins…’

My personal opinion is that any such intelligent discussion should be a bit more realistic… Fantastic possibilities should be replaced with scientific possibility… Such as how long does the brain retain consciousness after death? On that thought I hope I am truly gone for the embalming and/or cremation process…

For fantasy we should be more concerned with the subject of defeating death, becoming >H… I see more reality coming from that thought line than worrying about the afterlife or belief in a soul… No matter what you try to call it or where it goes after the body expires…

Do as you will

~T~
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#4429 - 02/21/08 07:18 PM Re: Gaia Theory [Re: ta2zz]
DistroyA Offline
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Registered: 02/04/08
Posts: 478
Loc: Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, UK
Whether or not it is realistic, it's still an interesting theory. After all, everyone is entitled to their own opinion and philosophy.

In your viewpoint, death seems to be the end and that's it. And you're entitled to that viewpoint, since it's your own. Some people find having the consciousness travelling further from the body more suitable for their own beliefs etc. If it works for them, leave 'em to it. That's what I think anyway.

As for worrying about the afterlife, some people believe in an afterlife, where the "soul" resides after the body dies, and they don't have to worry about it. It's not necessarily gonna be Heaven or Hell of the Christian faith.

I have a friend who's a Spiritualist, and her view on death seems a lot more plausible than a Christian's. Personally, I'd be more bothered about not experiencing a new life after death, as that would make living a bit pointless for me. I dunno, I guess that's how I see things for myself and myself alone.
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#4430 - 02/21/08 07:27 PM Re: Gaia Theory [Re: DistroyA]
Mercury_Templar Offline
93 93/93
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Registered: 09/16/07
Posts: 262
Loc: Cabarita, Vic, Australia
Gaia Theory, isn't that the theory where everyone gets to dress their own avi and collect Gaia Gold they can use to buy lots of nice noob stuff and go fishing and play the slots and buy furniature for their virtual Gaia home?

M.'.T.'.
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#4443 - 02/22/08 12:05 AM Re: Gaia Theory [Re: Mercury_Templar]
Octavius Offline
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Registered: 08/28/07
Posts: 557
Loc: Left the party
Belief or hope in an afterlife stems from fear. The fear that a person won't go on to some kind of additional existence/challenge/reward only serves to bind one's choices in this life to cater towards the possibility of the next, no matter how subtle. It inhibits freedom. Worse yet, it inhibits experience.
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#4447 - 02/22/08 01:06 AM Re: Gaia Theory [Re: Octavius]
TornadoCreator Offline
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Registered: 10/24/07
Posts: 586
Loc: No Fixed Address
Not so. The Gaia Theory that my friend describes is merely him postulating that after death perhaps a form of conciousness remains and carries on as part of the planets "life energy". There is no reason scientifically to back up this and he accepts it as being only that, a postulation on the possibility that something other than just the biological matter returns to the earth.

He's not overtly sensitive on this subject nor does he use it as a crutch like many religions are used. He has just had an idea and personally believes there is merit in it. Honestly he was the only friend who I would tell outright that I am a Satanist and expect no social stigma from until recently .

(my roommate recently told a friend of ours off and quite stirnly told him that Satanism doesn't have anything to do with devil worship or baby sacrifice when it was idly mentioned in my presence, even before I got a chance to say anything. He may have figured it out already as he said "I've actually looked this up" during the conversation).

In answer to your question Zeph.
My friend decribed it as being more like a collective. Your body rots and goes back to the earth, you later become matter taken up by a tree, you become the tree, you then get eaten by something etc... constant cycle.
He suggests that you conciousness is only a facet of the energy that makes up the planet, that, probably not as we perceive it now, but in some manner, it also returns to the planet and is recycled into a cohesive whole until eventually everyone comes together. It could be viewed as a slow removal of your individualism as you become nothing more than a peice of the energy within the planet, or you could see it as you becoming part of the "glorious whole". It's an interesting idea.

I think maybe what may have made him think like this, is that he's a biologist. He thinks in a biological mannor, and in biology the cycle doesn't end in death, you just become food for something else (even rotting is something being eaten by bacteria).
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#4474 - 02/23/08 04:11 AM Re: Gaia Theory [Re: TornadoCreator]
Stag Offline
pledge


Registered: 09/20/07
Posts: 84
The Gaia Hypotheis as it is commonly understood was first advanced by Dr. James Lovelock in the 1970s, it describes the Earth's ecosystem as a self-regulating superorganism. It has gained some noteriety over the years, but it is not without its scientific detractors.

What your friend is describing bears closer resemblance to the plot out of a Final Fantasy game. If this is the case, perhaps it might be worth reminding your friend that these games are fictional and should be treated as such.

On the other hand, I suppose that makes them no less a source of cod spirituality than any holy book I can think of.

Stag

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#4478 - 02/23/08 12:40 PM Re: Gaia Theory [Re: Stag]
TornadoCreator Offline
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Registered: 10/24/07
Posts: 586
Loc: No Fixed Address
If it so happens to have been the plot of a video game that doesn't make it any less valid. It's more believable than Christianity for sure, at least it's based around the possibility of the human being being more than just biology, having some form of spiritual side to it, which I can understand people having an interest in as opposed to the big guy in the sky who wants to burn me in his sadistic little ways because I dared to disagree with his stupid rules.

It's not anything I believe personally, but at least it's not absurd, just untested and unfounded, which I will remind people, every branch of science was at some point before we took the time to test it.
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#4494 - 02/24/08 07:30 AM Re: Gaia Theory [Re: TornadoCreator]
Stag Offline
pledge


Registered: 09/20/07
Posts: 84
 Quote:
If it so happens to have been the plot of a video game that doesn't make it any less valid.


It is quite common for people to embrace all sorts of off-beat ideas about 'spirituality' as they attempt to reconcile the religion of their childhood with the world as they understand it now. Some turn to Eastern mysticism, others dabble in the occult, some pursue New Agey syncreticism -- and so on.

With any luck, this is just a phase; a stopping point on the path to greater self-understanding.

Stag

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#4498 - 02/24/08 10:17 AM Re: Gaia Theory [Re: Stag]
TornadoCreator Offline
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Registered: 10/24/07
Posts: 586
Loc: No Fixed Address
Perhaps.

I think the reason I respect his ideas is he will admit that it's just faith. He doesn't push them, or consider it an absolute truth. He said it's what he feels happens. He can't explain why he does but he does. I personally would interpret it as "This isn't exceptionally crazy, can I believe this as a middleground because I don't like just not existing, it's mean and horrible. Thanks bye."
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If you can't practice what you preach, at least have the decency to preach what you practice

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#4499 - 02/24/08 11:03 AM Re: Gaia Theory [Re: TornadoCreator]
Octavius Offline
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Registered: 08/28/07
Posts: 557
Loc: Left the party
 Originally Posted By: TornadoCreator
Perhaps.

I think the reason I respect his ideas is he will admit that it's just faith. He doesn't push them, or consider it an absolute truth. He said it's what he feels happens. He can't explain why he does but he does. I personally would interpret it as "This isn't exceptionally crazy, can I believe this as a middleground because I don't like just not existing, it's mean and horrible. Thanks bye."


Exactly. "...it's mean and horrible." He's just proved that his faith is based on fear. I'm not trying to be aloof or pretend in any way that I have all the answers, but I do believe that faith is nothing more than a fearful reaction to the very real possibility of nothingness. If you're able to abandon those expectations (yes, it is a difficult process) you open the first door to what experience, freedom, and personal divinity can be.
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#4500 - 02/24/08 11:15 AM Re: Gaia Theory [Re: TornadoCreator]
ta2zz Offline
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Registered: 08/28/07
Posts: 1552
Loc: Connecticut
 Originally Posted By: TornadoCreator
"This isn't exceptionally crazy, can I believe this as a middleground because I don't like just not existing, it's mean and horrible. Thanks bye."

Maybe not exceptionally crazy but typical... Welcome to a mean and horrible world... Look around you, life is full of pain and discomfort... Life, nature, and the universe all seem to be based on trial and error and a very loose chaotic structure...

Can nature and life be defined in human terms? Can the afterlife?

There is simply no reason for the need of an afterlife except to curb your own fears... Nature has no foreseeable need for you to carry on past your time here... To think there is a grand reason for you being here then you must also think as highly of a common virus... I myself think life like the universe just happened...

Believe what you will but remember belief = blind faith... All the faith in the world will not change reality...

Unless of course we work at becoming H+... Only in this way can faith become study and hard work that may answer some questions... Can our consciousness be transplanted into another container or can death be prolonged or defeated altogether...

Can pure energy retain anything resembling consciousness?

"Does a radish scream when pulled from the ground?"

Life can feel pain and animals as well as plants react to painful stimulus in a predictable manner... Does energy as well?

To end this as I am meandering a bit...

Just remember no matter what you believe if in the end should there be no afterlife, you will not care... Perhaps ignorance is bliss...

~T~
_________________________
We are the music makers, And we are the dreamers of dreams. ~Arthur William Edgar O'Shaughnessy

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#4871 - 03/06/08 09:43 AM Re: Gaia Theory [Re: ta2zz]
MaggotFaceMoe Offline
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Registered: 08/30/07
Posts: 164
Loc: Finland
On this I must side with you Ta2zz.
So far science has made great leaps towards us possibly being able to become posthuman. But too much remains to be done, and thus I'm quite happy with the fact that after I stop breathing there will be absolutely nothing left.
I liked what you said about the nature having no further need for us. Are you perhaps too a fan of evolutionary biology?
I have been reading some good pieces of Dawkins. Though not perhaps the best on the subject, but God Delusion has some interesting points about faith and it's origins and human nature...

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