Do you believe in life after death?

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prothero
 
Reply Sat 8 May, 2010 03:17 pm
@Pythagorean,
No, but I am in favor of recycling.
 
Shattered Glass
 
Reply Sat 8 May, 2010 04:09 pm
@prothero,
Now don't get me wrong - I'm not religious or anything and on a completely rational and intellectual level life after death strikes me as exceptionally absurd and a form of thinking which justifies a contemptuous attitude towards anybody who harbours them. However, paradoxically my mind does sometimes plague me with irrational thoughts that somehow my consciousness will continue in some form after I die and that the experience won't be altogether very pleasant (to put it mildly).

I've thought through the matter carefully and I realy don't see how my consciousness could continue after death, believing as I do that my consciousness is merely something that is produced as an emergent property by means of the electro-chemical activity of my physical brain. But having said that I feel sure that I will experince a great deal of anxiety and dread when the grim reaper comes to claim me, no matter how willingly on one level I may wish to run into her seductive and embracing arms if I am wracked with old age, pain, discomfort and potential agony and I cannot explain to myself this paradox.

One train of thought that I've been having is this - assuming that we live in a multiverse with parallel universes, each seperated by a single quantum event, then perhaps somehow I will experience things in these other universes after I die in a kindof doppleganger of myself. I'm sorry if I'm coming across as foolish but a tiny speck of doubt exists in my mind that somehow death is not the end and this stubborn, persistent and irrational thought is not comforting in the slightest given how unpleasant this universe can be and how even more unpleasant it could be in another plane of existence.

Where does this miniscule doubt in the finality of death and sense of impending dread about death originate from? I'm sure I'm not the only one. Could it be that some people become so accustomed and habituated to placing ourselves as the fundamental reality in the universe (out of survival necessity) that anything that threatens this position (i.e. death) is transcended in our minds and that even if we paint our imaginary future existence with a thick coat of paranoia it is something the mind is prepared to do in order to alleviate the anxiety of contemplating a universe in which we no longer exist as conscious beings? Is doubting in the future utter annihilation of our consciousness, however tacitly or feebly, partially or wholly caused by the instinctive and innate abhorence people are gentically predisposed to feeling towards death?

What do you reckon?
 
Pyrrho
 
Reply Sun 9 May, 2010 10:06 pm
@Shattered Glass,
Shattered Glass;161857 wrote:
Now don't get me wrong - I'm not religious or anything and on a completely rational and intellectual level life after death strikes me as exceptionally absurd and a form of thinking which justifies a contemptuous attitude towards anybody who harbours them. However, paradoxically my mind does sometimes plague me with irrational thoughts that somehow my consciousness will continue in some form after I die and that the experience won't be altogether very pleasant (to put it mildly).

I've thought through the matter carefully and I realy don't see how my consciousness could continue after death, believing as I do that my consciousness is merely something that is produced as an emergent property by means of the electro-chemical activity of my physical brain. But having said that I feel sure that I will experince a great deal of anxiety and dread when the grim reaper comes to claim me, no matter how willingly on one level I may wish to run into her seductive and embracing arms if I am wracked with old age, pain, discomfort and potential agony and I cannot explain to myself this paradox.

One train of thought that I've been having is this - assuming that we live in a multiverse with parallel universes, each seperated by a single quantum event, then perhaps somehow I will experience things in these other universes after I die in a kindof doppleganger of myself. I'm sorry if I'm coming across as foolish but a tiny speck of doubt exists in my mind that somehow death is not the end and this stubborn, persistent and irrational thought is not comforting in the slightest given how unpleasant this universe can be and how even more unpleasant it could be in another plane of existence.

Where does this miniscule doubt in the finality of death and sense of impending dread about death originate from? I'm sure I'm not the only one. Could it be that some people become so accustomed and habituated to placing ourselves as the fundamental reality in the universe (out of survival necessity) that anything that threatens this position (i.e. death) is transcended in our minds and that even if we paint our imaginary future existence with a thick coat of paranoia it is something the mind is prepared to do in order to alleviate the anxiety of contemplating a universe in which we no longer exist as conscious beings? Is doubting in the future utter annihilation of our consciousness, however tacitly or feebly, partially or wholly caused by the instinctive and innate abhorence people are gentically predisposed to feeling towards death?

What do you reckon?



I think quite a few people feel as you do. However, Epicurus and I do not:

Epicurus and Epicurean Philosophy

I am absolutely fine with the idea that I will cease to exist. You might want to read some Epicurus, and, hopefully, he will cure you. But your condition could be terminal.
 
 

 
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