Figuring Out Religion

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Maddy
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by Maddy » Sun Oct 29, 2017 8:23 am

technovelist wrote: I'm trying to figure out how to spread the good word that we almost certainly don't really die, based on the nature of reality as disclosed by quantum mechanics. Any thoughts on how to do this would be most welcome.
Tech, I would be interested in knowing your view on the nature of such existence. I think we can all agree that even after death we continue to "exist" forever as a pile of carbon atoms, but that's not what anybody's really talking about when they postulate that we continue to "be" even after death. To "be," in any meaningful sense, requires not only consciousness, but consciousness of self. How does quantum mechanics, or any other model, account for consciousness of self or suggest that it continues after death?

And if it's not consciousness of self that you're talking about, but rather some enigmatic "existence" of which "self" has no meaning, why would it make sense to even talk about such existence as a continuation of "me?"
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by technovelist » Sun Oct 29, 2017 8:30 am

Maddy wrote:
technovelist wrote: I'm trying to figure out how to spread the good word that we almost certainly don't really die, based on the nature of reality as disclosed by quantum mechanics. Any thoughts on how to do this would be most welcome.
Tech, I would be interested in knowing your view on the nature of such existence. I think we can all agree that even after death we continue to "exist" forever as a pile of carbon atoms, but that's not what anybody's really talking about when they postulate that we continue to "be" even after death.
No, that's not what I'm talking about at all. Life is superior to matter, just as a chess player is superior to the chess pieces he plays with. What happens to the chess player after the game is over? Does he die at that point?
Maddy wrote:
To "be," in any meaningful sense, requires not only consciousness, but consciousness of self. How does quantum mechanics, or any other model, account for consciousness of self or suggest that it continues after death?
QM requires something outside of the apparent physical universe that we see around us. What that "something" is, however, is not at all well-understood. I'm proposing a model for that "something": http://tech-novelist.com/tag/NIQM/?order=asc. Have you read it?
Maddy wrote:
And if it's not consciousness of self that you're talking about, but rather some enigmatic "existence" of which "self" has no meaning, why would it make sense to even talk about such existence as a continuation of "me?"
If you lost all of your memories, would you still be you?
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by l82start » Sun Oct 29, 2017 9:55 am

technovelist very interesting blog post, it does seem to conform to the understanding that eastern religion and a mystical interpretation of western religion would give for life and the nature of existence. i am not sure that individual identity after death can be proven, it seems that only the continued existence of life after death is implied by the theory, the appearance individuality or self seems (to me) to be a function of making choices and moving from one static universe to the next creating time, if one is dead and not moving through static universes you would have no perception of time or self, wouldn't you return to a state of "life itself" as opposed to having life/self/individuality (moving in time) after death?
"The future ain't what it used to be."

Belief is the death of intelligence. As soon as one believes a doctrine of any sort, or assumes certitude, one stops thinking about that aspect of existence
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by Maddy » Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:23 am

technovelist wrote: If you lost all of your memories, would you still be you?
This is something I think about a lot, since I have a parent with late-stage dementia. When you realize that progressive degeneration of the brain can cause a person to not only lose their most significant memories but to undergo such a profound change in personality as to no longer bear any resemblance to the person they once were, it does pose a challenge to the idea of an eternal, non-physical "self."
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by sweetbthescrivener » Mon Oct 30, 2017 11:58 am

Maddy wrote:
technovelist wrote: If you lost all of your memories, would you still be you?
This is something I think about a lot, since I have a parent with late-stage dementia. When you realize that progressive degeneration of the brain can cause a person to not only lose their most significant memories but to undergo such a profound change in personality as to no longer bear any resemblance to the person they once were, it does pose a challenge to the idea of an eternal, non-physical "self."
Since this is the religion thread, I would propose that all of this is far more mysterious than a simple logical proposition of being yourself if you have no memory.

I am no expert on this, though I do have some personal experiences during retirement home visits, of the concept of "Terminal Lucidity."

Again, not saying this is proof of a soul or anything else, but, strangely, there are often reports of people whose brain long ago turned into Swiss cheese, who, just before they die, have a final few moments of complete lucidity before they go.


https://www.huffingtonpost.com/stafford ... 63492.html
An elderly woman never speaks, no longer recognizes her loved ones when they come to visit, and shows no expression. By the looks of her, she is a human vegetable. And she’s been this way for over a year. Her brain’s cerebral cortex and hippocampus — necessary for memory, thought, language, and normal consciousness — are severely shrunk. Her brain bears little resemblance to a healthy one.

Yet something utterly astonishing is about to happen. As reported by both the nursing staff of her care unit and her family members: “Unexpectedly, she calls her daughter and thanks her for everything. She has a phone conversation with her grandchildren, exchanges kindness and warmth. She says farewell and shortly thereafter dies.”

Similar cases have been scattered side notes in the medical literature, but recently a small body of researchers, such as Bruce Greyson, professor of psychiatry and neurobehavioral sciences at the University of Virginia, and Michael Nahm in Freiburg, Germany, have begun to take a careful look at the phenomenon and agreed to call it terminal lucidity, or TL. Professor Alexander Batthyany, who teaches cognitive science at the University of Vienna, is currently running a large-scale study on the phenomenon — the first of its kind. He is sending out detailed questionnaires to caregivers of Alzheimer’s victims, mostly nurses and medical doctors, and as the questionnaires trickle in, new mysteries arise as fast as older ones are clarified. The case cited above comes from Batthyany’s database.

Almost all brain scientists have assumed up until now that a severely-damaged brain makes normal cognition impossible. But Batthyany’s preliminary results, presented at the annual IANDS Congress in Newport, California, last month, suggests that normal cognition, or lucidity, does occur in spite of a severely-damaged brain — not often, but in about 5-10 percent of Alzheimer’s cases. And only when death is very near.
Make of it what you will. For me this points to a theory of a persistent soul existing alongside of, and submerged under whatever is going on with the brain. Again though, I am not making that claim for anyone else or the world in general. Only for my own spiritual world view.

I was once visiting a relative in a nursing home, and one day this totally vegetative, slumped over woman I had seen many times, straightened up, opened her eyes, and gave a five minute speech about how beautiful the rest home was, and how beautiful all the souls were there, and how we could all meet each other on a spiritual level and be friends. An eloquent, beautiful speech, and darned if it didn't feel spiritual in a direct way, as if an messenger from God had taken over her body for a second to give us hope, and then disappeared.

You could feel goosebumps to hear this formerly mute, inert figure speak with such eloquence and authority, and when it was over, it was over, and she was gone, just a form in a wheelchair in a corner for all the rest of the days I went there.

This is the way of faith though, coming in an inspired moment, and then disappearing, impossible to share in any meaningful way, and too elusive to nail down in theory. Only there in your memory--yeah that really happened--and then gone.

When I hear accounts like this, in scientific journals or personal testimonies, I smile to myself, been there myself brother, just for a second, and then it is back to all the elements of what can be seen and can be heard and most importantly what can persist.
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by technovelist » Mon Oct 30, 2017 1:12 pm

l82start wrote:technovelist very interesting blog post, it does seem to conform to the understanding that eastern religion and a mystical interpretation of western religion would give for life and the nature of existence. i am not sure that individual identity after death can be proven, it seems that only the continued existence of life after death is implied by the theory, the appearance individuality or self seems (to me) to be a function of making choices and moving from one static universe to the next creating time, if one is dead and not moving through static universes you would have no perception of time or self, wouldn't you return to a state of "life itself" as opposed to having life/self/individuality (moving in time) after death?
Actually it is exactly the other way around. The ability to create time is a consequence of being alive. And if my hypothesis is fruitful, there is no such thing as being dead.
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by l82start » Mon Oct 30, 2017 2:10 pm

the "no such thing as being dead" does seem to follow the hypothesis, and that life continues after an individuals body stops living seems to follow the hypothesis as well, but i am not sure how the continuation of the individual does? if the "phone line" interconnectedness of life is revealed through quantum physics, and the perception of time is based on having an individual point of perception from a body, how do you know you will have an individual point of perception after the body is gone and not a universal (become the phone line?) timeless state of life instead?
"The future ain't what it used to be."

Belief is the death of intelligence. As soon as one believes a doctrine of any sort, or assumes certitude, one stops thinking about that aspect of existence
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by technovelist » Mon Oct 30, 2017 3:26 pm

l82start wrote:the "no such thing as being dead" does seem to follow the hypothesis, and that life continues after an individuals body stops living seems to follow the hypothesis as well, but i am not sure how the continuation of the individual does? if the "phone line" interconnectedness of life is revealed through quantum physics, and the perception of time is based on having an individual point of perception from a body, how do you know you will have an individual point of perception after the body is gone and not a universal (become the phone line?) timeless state of life instead?
Of course I don't know with certainty. But it seems to me that continuity of individuality matches up better with both the likelihood of conservation laws that I expect by analogy with physics, and with countless reports of near-death experiences.
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Happy Reformation Day!

Post by Xan » Tue Oct 31, 2017 4:31 pm

It was 500 years ago today, on the eve of All Hallows in 1517, that Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the church door. That event is considered to be the start of the Reformation of the Christian Church, and was a turning point in both church and world history.

Happy Reformation Day everyone!
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Re: Happy Reformation Day!

Post by Desert » Tue Oct 31, 2017 6:57 pm

Xan wrote:It was 500 years ago today, on the eve of All Hallows in 1517, that Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the church door. That event is considered to be the start of the Reformation of the Christian Church, and was a turning point in both church and world history.

Happy Reformation Day everyone!
+1, truly a big day in history.
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by Mountaineer » Tue Oct 31, 2017 7:06 pm

Yep, a significant move forward towards hospitals, separation of church and state, and much more that many haven’t been educated about.
Everyone is discontent. Anyone who says otherwise is likely selling something. That's why we have online shopping and commercials and fly swatters: the discontents sell them to other discontents in order to try to make contentment. It works. Sometimes. For a while. The pursuit of happiness is endless. It is very slowly killing you. Happiness is the final idol.
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by Desert » Tue Oct 31, 2017 7:40 pm

Terribly unfortunate that the Reformation was needed, by the way. A warning that the church can get way off course.
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