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Explaining What Happens After Death
#1
Explaining What Happens After Death
I am not sure if I'm posting in the right thread or forum here, but I have some questions. I still consider myself an atheist, but until recently I held the false notion that consciousness was localized to the brain. I had a limited definition for consciousness. I now realize that consciousness is a great mystery and nobody can really sufficiently explain it, and apparently it extends beyond the mind; I still don't really have a firm grasp on what consciousness really is. So, no longer can I assert with any confidence that when you die and your brain dies that your consciousness is eradicated. I used to think it worked that simply. It's got me thinking I really can't provide a sufficient explanation as to how the brain simply dies and you're gone. Of course, there's more to selling the idea of how there's no afterlife, but this is one crucial part of it.

 So, as an atheist, how do you explain to others that when we die we simply cease to exist through explainable science and that we don't migrate to any kind of afterlife? Can it be explained scientifically how we simply are no more - how the essence of what was you is gone - without the absence of consciousness, if consciousness indeed (or the lackthereof) plays no role? What do you think the consensus definition of consciousness is?
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#2
RE: Explaining What Happens After Death
While much about consciousness is a mystery, a causal relation between an active, living brain and consciousness has been demonstrated. There is no reason to think that consciousness can exist without a living brain.

When the battery in your phone dies, is there any reason to think your phone "goes on working" in some further capacity? So it is with the body.

Edit: And welcome to the forums!
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#3
RE: Explaining What Happens After Death
Welcome Smile

Indeed, I believe the scientific consensus is that consciousness always accompanies a functioning brain. It's never been observed without it. The idea that it exists separately is fanciful and unfounded. It's generally viewed as an emergent property of brains; it doesn't exist as an entity in its own right. It's something a brain "does".

What does it even mean to say that "you" exist without your brain? I don't find this coherent.

Also, the idea that there's some magical thingy pulling the physical strings doesn't make any sense. If it's able to survive and (presumably) experience things without our body, what is the point of our body in the first place? Why does it require our eyes to see? Why does it stop being able to see when our eyes get poked out? Why can it suddenly see again with no body at all?

The whole notion isn't even vaguely defined in any scientific sense and is pure speculation at best. I'm not claiming to know for sure, I don't claim to know anything for sure. All we can do is follow the evidence, and it all points towards death being final.
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#4
RE: Explaining What Happens After Death
(March 31, 2018 at 2:56 am)ArtVandelay Wrote: I am not sure if I'm posting in the right thread or forum here, but I have some questions. I still consider myself an atheist, but until recently I held the false notion that consciousness was localized to the brain. I had a limited definition for consciousness. I now realize that consciousness is a great mystery and nobody can really sufficiently explain it, and apparently it extends beyond the mind; I still don't really have a firm grasp on what consciousness really is. So, no longer can I assert with any confidence that when you die and your brain dies that your consciousness is eradicated. I used to think it worked that simply. It's got me thinking I really can't provide a sufficient explanation as to how the brain simply dies and you're gone. Of course, there's more to selling the idea of how there's no afterlife, but this is one crucial part of it.

 So, as an atheist, how do you explain to others that when we die we simply cease to exist through explainable science and that we don't migrate to any kind of afterlife? Can it be explained scientifically how we simply are no more - how the essence of what was you is gone - without the absence of consciousness, if consciousness indeed (or the lackthereof) plays no role? What do you think the consensus definition of consciousness is?

What is it that makes you think consciousness is anywhere but a brain?
If there is a god, I want to believe that there is a god.  If there is not a god, I want to believe that there is no god.
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#5
RE: Explaining What Happens After Death
Welcome new person...
It's one thing being an atheist, it's another being a critical thinker.

Please tell us, in your opinion why you think consciousness can live independently outside the host body?
No God, No fear.
Know God, Know fear.
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#6
RE: Explaining What Happens After Death
Thanks for the welcome, all. These were quick replies. If only the Psychology forums I frequent were half as quick as this was...


Quote:What does it even mean to say that "you" exist without your brain? I don't find this coherent. 


No, I was stating the obvious: you don't exist without your brain. Not the opposite. Unless that's not what you're asking.


Quote:Indeed, I believe the scientific consensus is that consciousness always accompanies a functioning brain. It's never been observed without it. The idea that it exists separately is fanciful and unfounded. It's generally viewed as an emergent property of brains; it doesn't exist as an entity in its own right. It's something a brain "does".


I thought the same. Now I'm questioning my understanding of it.
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#7
RE: Explaining What Happens After Death
Take a human brain (you can get one just about anywhere).  Dice it.  Mince it. Mash the bits.  Burn the mush.  If you can detect brain activity coming from the ashes, you can make the case that consciousness doesn't require a functioning brain.

The notion that consciousness survives the death of the brain is about as silly as claiming that 150 kph survives the crash of the car.

Boru
‘Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.’ Ralph Waldo Emerson
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#8
RE: Explaining What Happens After Death
Quote:What is it that makes you think consciousness is anywhere but a brain?

Several articles I've recently read. I will link one specifically: http://www.collective-evolution.com/2014...ver-of-it/ I will link more if need be. Nor am I suggesting the source is trustworthy per se.



Quote:Please tell us, in your opinion why you think consciousness can live independently outside the host body?


I'm saying my definition on what consciousness is has changed. I am not saying emphatically that it can live outside your body. Logically, I would think that it could not. But since the definition is so varied, I can't seem to pin down a consensus idea of what consciousness is.
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#9
RE: Explaining What Happens After Death
Realm of Divine Magic where ghosts, souls and God resides is unproven and belong to fairy tale section currently. It's that simple.
[Image: keep-calm-and-praise-the-sun.jpg]
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#10
RE: Explaining What Happens After Death
(March 31, 2018 at 4:02 am)purplepurpose Wrote: Realm of Divine Magic where ghosts, souls and God resides is unproven and belong to fairy tale section currently. It's that simple.

Of course.
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