You do not need to believe in God to believe in the afterlife

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by darryl, Apr 29, 2012.

  1. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member


    Your rationale, to me, is inverted. While science has no evidence of an afterlife, it does not warrant the conclusion that says: therefore an afterlife is possible.

    The only reason the question of afterlife comes up is because it was handed down for centuries (in the Judeo-Christian cultures) probably originating sometime after the conquest of Alexander and before the second razing of the temple in Jerusalem (AD 70).

    When a fact is considered scientifically, and that fact gives no evidence of a claim, then it's not logical to assert the claim, based on no evidence to the contrary. It is correct, however, to say "it probably is not true".
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  3. keith1 Guest

    A universe that springs from the "ultra-small" environs, would be capable of supplying "existence support" for small energy "packets" that would be indestructible, transferable, and follow quantum characteristics.
    They could be created by any female human mother during childbirth, as "packages" of "Signal Objects of Uterine Logistics" (SOUL)*, transferred to the child, and released at death of the human subject.
    This much could be said.

    *SOUL being packets of low-energy bio-luminescent (phosphene) pre-birth memory modules.

    Men are retained in the model for genetic vigor enhancement, for emergency conditions calling for faster environment-change adaptation.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 29, 2012
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  5. Epictetus here & now Registered Senior Member

    Keith, did you see that post about peyote-taking Indians, and my comments that someone ought to start their own religion? I think you could be the guy!
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  7. keith1 Guest

    Thank you, you flatter my need to know,
    which matches your own needs exactly.
    So let it be said, so let it be heard, so let it be done.
    She may wish my further input(s).
    I will leave it to her wishes of me, as her time progresses.
  8. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Then you're not looking in the right places. The very definition of life includes:
    • Homeostasis
    • Organization
    • Metabolism
    • Growth
    • Adaptation
    • Response to stimuli, and
    • Reproduction.
    Every single one of those processes completely, distinctly, obviously and irreversibly stops within a short time after the death of a human being.

    In lower animals, some of those processes can continue for a while and may be restartable under the right conditions, making it difficult to distinguish death from sub-lethal trauma. And of course in the other five kingdoms of simpler organisms--plants, fungi, algae, bacteria and archaea--it's even more difficult.

    But we're dealing with mammals here, the most complex of all organisms. When a mammal dies, it ceases living, completely and irreversibly. The consciousness that we associate closely with life and the unconscious brain activity that we associate closely with woo-woo (dreams, trances, the "near-death" experiences that are merely "this is your brain on hypoxia," etc.) are all electrochemical processes that fall into categories 2 and 6 above, Organization and Response to Stimuli.

    When a human brain runs out of oxygen (at room temperature with no medical intervention this incontrovertibly happens within less than ten minutes of heart stoppage) the synapses lose their charge, the chemistry breaks down, and the conscious and unconscious thoughts degrade and disappear. Before too long the tissues begin to decay. There is no infrastructure to support the process of thought, so there is no thought. No ideas. No experiences. No journeys. No observations. Nothing. That's why we call it "death."
    Many scientists also believe in gods and angels and devils and a man who came back from the dead. Do you also insist that we be sanguine about these other forms of pure bullshit, out of respect for their diplomas and their lab coats? Scientists are no less complicated than the rest of us and have just as many weaknesses, idiosyncrasies and as much cognitive dissonance as we do.
    Technical foul declared here. You're using a layman's dictionary to support an argument that is way beyond the layman's level. No layman can list more than two of the defining characteristics of life and no layman understands the scientific method: empirical observation, logical reasoning, peer review, the Rule of Laplace, Occam's Razor, etc. If you want to define science for us--many of whom have scientific backgrounds--then please be recursive and give us a scientific definition of science, not something from the Sunday supplement.
    You're not much of a scientist if you don't know that it is never necessary to prove a negative. The burden of proof is always on the party who makes a positive assertion. If this were not true, then the finite resources of science would be dissipated every day on disproving the the claims of every crackpot, wacko and religious nut who knocks on the door of the academy.

    It's a quite sensible rule that the person who makes a claim has to be the one to provide evidence.
    What woo-woo is this now? Life is not a "field." Life is a collection of processes that function in concert: homeostasis, metabolism, organization, etc.

    BTW, you're also not much of a scientist if you don't understand that insects and humans are animals too. You also haven't mentioned the other four kinds of organisms. Do fungi, algae, bacteria and archaea also have this "field"? Or is it limited to the two most advanced taxonomic kingdoms? Inquiring minds want to know.
    As you've already been told, science is never required to disprove something for which no evidence has been provided. When I took Logic 101A it was not in a scientific curriculum so this was not in the list of Classic Fallacies (Recursion, Correlation, Authority, etc.). But I think it should be: The Fallacy of Demanding Proof of a Negative.

    Bring your evidence, and then we'll talk. Oh, and by the way, it had better be damn good evidence because you're already subject to the Rule of Laplace: Extraordinary assertions must be supported by extraordinary evidence before anyone is obliged to treat them with respect.
    What do you mean, "Also"? You just said that in your immediate preceding post.
    And if you're going to repeat yourself I guess I will have to repeat myself too: Many scientists also believe in gods and resurrections. Belief in the supernatural is clearly an instinct (or an "archetype" as Jung called it in the days before the effect of genetics and evolution on behavior had been identified). The human forebrain is enormously larger in proportion to our animal midbrain and hindbrain compared to all other mammals, even the other apes--three to four times larger than our closest relative, the chimpanzee. This gives us a unique ability to override the instinctive ideas and behaviors with which we were born, with reasoned and learned behaviors. Some of us do that; others don't bother.
    I wonder if you're going to make a clean sweep and cite every one of the Classic Fallacies in a single thread? It doesn't matter how many people believe something. That is not evidence. 100 years ago 85% of Americans believed that black people were inferior (the 85% of them who were white and I don't know if I've got that ratio quite right).
    You haven't really described their research. When one is attempting to coax people into into investigating a topic, it is customary to provide an abstract in one's own words. You know, like those "book reports" we all learned to do in the sixth grade? Did you think as an adult you'd never need that skill?

    Life is way too short to click on URLs! If you've put so much thought into this stuff, surely you can give us a synopsis that will whet our interest.

    As for it being impossible for all of the scientists on your list to be engaged in research that is in fact "bunk," now you're just being naive. Have you not heard of corporate science? These days arguably most graduates with science degrees go to work for corporations because they need the work and that's where the work is. They end up disgracing their principles: the goal of science is to test hypotheses until you find the correct one. The goal of corporate science is to prove a hypothesis is true because it will make money for the company, so you quietly ignore all the competing hypotheses.

    This is "bunk." There's lots of bunk in science today. I've never heard of the scientists you're quoting but without seeing their credentials and, preferably reading a peer-review of some of their work from a scientist I know to be trustworthy, I have no way of knowing that their work is not also bunk.

    One of the problems the Electronic Revolution has brought us is the ease with which anyone who is merely a good writer can communicate directly with the public.

    Hey wait a minute. I'm a good writer! I should start my own blog. I'll convince everybody that HBO should bring back "Fraggle Rock."
    Various notions of an afterlife come up in other religions too. This is why Jung calls these things "archetypes": legends, images, rituals, etc., that recur in almost all cultures in almost all eras. The Hindus believe in a sort of continuous afterlife. When you die your soul is reborn in another creature. If you've been good it may be a king or a corporate executive; if not it may be a swamp rat or a dung beetle.
    Last edited: May 30, 2012
  9. darryl Banned Banned

    Fraggle Rocker there could be an invisible immortal part of the organism on earth which could be a representation of a "spirit" or "soul", yes including all microorganisms, trees, plants etc insects, animals, humans etc. Everything.

    In the late 1800s a scientist developed a theory of "odic force" a living energy or "field" inside all organisms. Later research proven thanks to the work of Dr. Burr has shown that these "fields" were electromagnetic fields and everything from a plant, to an ant has these fields which can be mapped with standard voltmeters. Now i dont have the paper on me at the moment but a later researcher has written the electromagnetic hypothesis of the afterlife..

    Fair play but do not think science has solved this problem, scientists can not define "life", in fact most tend to dodge the question "what is life", when James lovelock was doing his research he found that no scientist knew what life was, that position has not changed today it is entirely subjective.

    Science is systematic knowledge of the physical or material world gained through observation and experimentation. The afterlife if it exists is not in this physical world so science can not prove or disprove it.

    Ok regarding Sir William Crookes and Alfred Wallace (you must know these scientists) basically they in scientific conditions did experiments into spiritualism, and they observed some kind of spirit coming through. I lost interest in their studies but I will try and locate something if I can. Sir Oliver Lodge also in a seance had his dead son coming through and talking to him etc.

    Just to point out (it probably doesnt make any difference) but Jung believed in the afterlife.

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  10. gmilam Valued Senior Member

    If you believe that, why are you bringing it up on a science forum? :bugeye:
  11. darryl Banned Banned

    I have brought the topic up on many forums and discussed it in detail with many scientists and both with skeptics and believers, however that was not the purpose of this thread.The purpose of this thread was to show it is possible to be an atheist and believe in the afterlife, and I posted this in the religion section.

    Three atheists and skeptics - Richard Dawkins, Michael Shermer and Robert Todd Carroll have said that the afterlife probably doesn't exist and there is no scientific evidence in their opinion for it but have also stated that science can not disprove the afterlife. Science does not deal with and can not prove or disprove the metaphysical.
  12. gmilam Valued Senior Member

    Just trying to understand why people, who believe that science has no say on a subject, want to discuss it on a science forum. :shrug:
  13. keith1 Guest

    darryl was cherry-picking scientist sources from Biology, Psychology, and Philosophy. None from quantum physics, which would seem necessary to give further insight into this OP discussion.
  14. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    The list I cribbed from Wikipedia is a rather standard definition of life from biology. Last time I checked biology was a science.
    And praytell what other world is there besides the physical? You're veering off into Stone Age woo-woo again. Science is the study of the natural universe, including anything that may be part of it, physical or not. If you're referring to the mythical "supernatural" universe, the myths clearly tell us that its creatures and forces make themselves visible (and indeed rather pesky) in the natural universe from time to time, so there should be no problem gathering and examining the evidence that supports the hypothesis that a supernatural universe exists.

    Oops, it turns out that there is no evidence. In all these thousands of years since humans learned to write down their experiences, there is no credible evidence of supernatural events. One would certainly expect it from the Romans, who were consummate recordkeepers at the precise time that so many of the founding myths of one branch of Abrahamism are alleged to have taken place.

    This is the sum total of your "other-than-physical world."
    Although Jung knew about evolution and probably was aware of the early research into genetics, he died before DNA was understood, even to the limited extent it is today. He was fascinated by what he called "archetypes." Today we understand them to be nothing more than wacky little instincts leftover from genetic drift or bottlenecks, or perhaps relics of survival traits in an era whose dangers we cannot imagine. He did not have this advantage. Furthermore, he was a psychologist and as you've probably already heard me note, psychology is perhaps the softest of all the "soft sciences." We call psychologists "scientists," but when we step behind them we make a little asterisk over their heads with our fingers.

    Jung had no idea why archetypes exist. Being only a scientist*

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    he suspected that they might be supernatural. Once you open your mind to the possibility of supernatural phenomena, anything becomes possible, including the forehead-slapping oxymoron of life after death.
    Metaphysics is called metaphysics for the same reason that metadata is called metadata. It is not physics, it is about physics. It deals with ideas about the universe, not the universe itself.

    All metaphysics can prove is that these ideas exist, and that they conform to the academic rules of the discipline. It can judge whether they are consistent, logical, etc. But it cannot judge whether they are true. That is the job of science.
  15. darryl Banned Banned

    The "supernatural realm" might be a mental realm/another dimension and it may well be accessed every night via dreaming, or lucid dreams etc.

    Lots of speculation involved here but some scientists are very into different dimensions and multiverses. If the afterlife exists it may be in the fourth dimension see my other thread for that, in that model absolutely everything could survive including all plants, insects, microorganisms etc...

    Other research says perhaps there are dimensions in the mind. - Occultists have been talking about these "realms" "dimensions" or "planes" for years.

    There are millions of so called "mediums" on the planet who claim they are talking to "dead" people from the afterlife, now this line of research does not really interest me becuase I am interested in another model but why did Alfred Wallace (one of the most famous and most accomplished scientists claim to believe in it? was he duped?? or perhaps he communicated with this dream world/other dimension some how. We know that lots of mediums have been caught with fraud, and perhaps much of the rest is hallucination and a psychology issue.

    Now NDE experience may all be "in the mind" but some of these folk who have been pronounced dead by doctors but they come back 10 minutes later or so and talk about this dream world they were in, how were these folk dreaming if their brain was inactive?

    Much of this might be explained by this mans model:

    Dream telepathy

    So why might survive death? As I said maybe a field of some kind. The biologist Rupert Sheldrake has a theory that has claimed that Morphic fields "animate organisms at all levels of complexity, from galaxies to giraffes, and from ants to atoms."

    Theres also this:

    The conscious electromagnetic field theory

    Does the cemi field survive after death?

    Also found the paper for electromagnetic theory for an afterlife: of Near-Death Studies_1987-6-79-94.pdf

    The question of survival of bodily death is often considered to be
    beyond contemporary scientific methods and conceptual categories. However,
    recent research into spontaneous radiations from living systems suggests a
    scientific foundation for the ancient association between light and life, and a
    biophysical hypothesis of the conscious self that could survive death of the
    body. All living organisms emit low-intensity light; at the time of death, that
    radiation is ten to 1,000 times stronger than that emitted under normal
    conditions. This "deathflash" is independent of the cause of death, and reflects in intensity and duration the rate of dying.
    The vision of intense light reported in near-death experiences may be related to this deathflash, which may hold an immense amount of information. The electromagnetic field produced by necrotic radiation, containing energy, internal structure, and information, may permit continuation of consciousness beyond the death of the body.
    Last edited: May 30, 2012
  16. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    You're just parroting meaningless combinations of words you read in comic books when you were little.
    What the heck is a "different dimension"? Something from that same comic book!
    There's nothing in the multiverse hypothesis as proferred by scientists to suggest that communication is possible between them.
    More comic book balloon dialog. The fourth dimension is time. An eleven-dimension universe was postulated about 30 years ago. It spoke to the Heisenberg Principle as well as to the wave/particle conundrum. If the quarks and leptons are vibrating in a direction in which we can't see, then each time they pass through the "plane" (as it were) in which we can see they appear to have jumped from one location to another without actually traversing the distance between them. Now this was a scientific hypothesis that merited respectful treatment. It actually made sense and didn't ask us to toss out half of what we know about science. Yet it was found to be flawed and ultimately discarded.
    Well I appreciate the fact that you have not fallen into the trap of the anthropocentric universe, in which the laws of nature (and also supernatural laws) have, for some unknown reason, been crafted specifically for the benefit of the dominant lifeform on this one tiny planet. Many of us dismiss one of the most popular religions with great disgust for a single reason: there are no dogs in their Heaven! (Will Rogers said famously, "If dogs don't go to Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.")
    This is both comic-book talk and anthropocentrism. Are there "dimensions" in the mind of a chimpanzee? A dog? A koi? A squid? A bee, whose central nervous system is so much less expansive than that of a chordate that it's a stretch to even postulate a mind there?

    And I still have no idea what these men of science masquerading as crackpots mean by "dimensions." Do you? We all understood what the eleven-dimensional hypothesis meant. Huge difference!

    In any case, the mind is 100% a phenomenon of the brain, which is complex organic tissue augmented by a very feeble electrical system. It's fragile and delicate and these days we often use the term "brain death" to signify the juncture at which the "person" we once knew no longer exists.

    Brain waves do not continue to propagate after the brain is dead. In any dimension.
    You keep coming up with new versions of the Classic Fallacies. Do I actually have to explain to you where the flaw is in an argument based on the ravings of supernaturalists? People who don't even pretend to respect the scientific method?
    You need to familiarize yourself with the work of James Randi. He has put much time, money and effort into critically examining the performances of mediums, palm readers, faith healers, water diviners, past life regressionists, and all the rest of the lot. He's the perfect man for the job since he was originally a stage magician. He found that every single one of these charlatans uses the tricks of stage magic. We used to belong to the Los Angeles chapter of CSICOP and he frequently spoke at our meetings, occasionally demonstrating how charlatans work.

    Now before you scroll up a report on a particularly amazing feat and say, "There's no way a stage magician could have done this," just remember the last time you saw David Copperfield perform.

    These tricks include psychology, of course. Many of the palm readers, astrologers, etc., who sit in their little storefronts actually help people solve their problems. They just use techniques that their customers will believe, instead of the standard psychiatric and psychotherapeutic techniques that many people doubt. A friend of mine who actually is a psychotherapist had had a really bad year (many decades earlier), and on a whim he walked into one of these shops. The lady read him in two seconds and said, "You're not here because you want me to cast your horoscope and tell you that as soon as your moon is out of Libra you'll feel better. You just want help. Why don't you sit down and tell me what's wrong." He walked out of there a new man and said, "I've spent my life striving to be as good at this job as that lady was."
    Alfred Wallace has been dead for a century. He had even less understanding of what goes on inside our heads than Carl Jung. People who are amenable to an idea can easily have experiences that seem to prove its truth. This includes hallucinations, although fortunately not for most of us without chemical stimulation.
    If they were still alive during all that time, then their brains were not inactive. There are natural, organic poisons that suppress our lifesigns so much that the average M.D. would pronounce us dead. We have much more sensitive instruments for detecting brain waves these days.
    Do you have any idea how much energy it would take to "animate a galaxy"? Hint: more than there is in the entire universe.

    If these guys insist that the Laws of Thermodynamics are wrong and there's no such thing as Conservation of Energy, then they are delivering themselves to Professor LaPlace's office. Show us the extraordinary evidence to support your extraordinary assertion, or we will continue to treat you and your assertion with the utmost disrespect. Hint: Dreams are not even ordinary evidence, much less extraordinary.
    "Often considered?" By whom??? The same community of crackpots?
    Where do you find this crap? More importantly, why do you bother?
  17. darryl Banned Banned

    Fraggle Rocker going back to the OP, is it possible to be an atheist and believe in the afterlife, yes 100%. The atheist philosopher John Mctaggart believed in the afterlife and even wrote books on the topic, now I am not going to get my head round his arguments, he seems to be saying time is unreal. Perhaps you can ponder on that one on a rainy day.

    Lets for just a moment say the afterlife is 100% real - then please explain in acceptable terminology where the afterlife is, all we can say is that it is an alternative dimension. The universe is apparently filled with dark matter yet nobody has ever seen this dark matter, physical dimensions are not disproven by science, perhaps one day one may be discovered, but for now this theme makes good movies and cool ideas about an afterlife for those who are into the topic.

    fair comments but science knows nothing about time, the only guys pondering on time are mainly philosophers, you may be interested in this:

    You might want to read "The Fourth Dimension guides you on a mind-expanding journey; the book is designed to alter the reader's perceptions of the universe through the exploration of a fourth dimension (a fourth physical dimension, rather than the simpler notion of time as a fourth dimension)." gives a good introduction to the subject..

    having spoken to spiritualists they believe animals have spirits which is good, but it seems most monotheistic religions are sadly anthropocentric.

    You might not of clicked on his website, but anthony peake is not reffering to the human mind, he seems to be talking about some type of cosmic energy field or a universal mind called the akashic field with different dimensions which we all live in and are part of, such as model would not be anthropocentrism. This will be typical "woo" for you, so lets not go there!

    Yes all very true, but theres no arguement here, most believers in the afterlife accept that the brain waves die etc and the physical body does eventually they say some type of immaterial entity/field/soul/spirit/subtle body etc leaves the body at death. As far as I know the only scientific evidence for this was done by some early doctors who weighed some bodies at death and there was a weight loss at the moment of death and they included it was the soul departing... and no some of these doctors were not anthropocentric as they also weighed mouses and sheep and dogs etc and also concluded they had souls.

    I am looking into this at the moment, I am not sure what properties the fields he refers to have.

    becuase i have been a proponent of panpychism for many years i believe that consciousness exists in nature and goes all the way down to atoms and subatomic particles, if this is the case then thats why i believe in life after death, i dont think consciousness relies 100% on the need for a brain. perhaps 1 day there may be 100% scientific proof for life after death but for now it will stay in the realm of metaphysics. science doesnt have all the answers, and dabbling in some philosophy and metaphysics is perfectly healthy.
  18. Red Devil Born Again Athiest Registered Senior Member

    I totally agree with Darryl. I am athiest and do not believe that there is a hell option after death, this is Hell. I have had reasons to experience the fact that there is something after all this toil of living. A sister of mine had passed info on to me that came from a medium that is impossible not to have come from departed souls. There is no way they could be fabricated or 'guessed'. There were two things that horrified me about death, how I was to die and if there was nothing but 'nothing'. Then I statred thinking about it and began to realise that the so called soul that lives within is actually the mind, and that the mind goes on .................. One regret I will have about dying will be that I had not finished the learning process and that my numerous sites will die.
  19. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    Isn't it the other way around? The brain doesn't rely on consciousness? (as in sleep or coma)

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