Consciousness after death?

Most Christians I’ve spoken with have referred to heaven and hell in such a manner that suggests after our death we will have a conscious awareness of our being in either heaven or hell. As it requires a functioning brain to have a sense of awareness and to have consciousness, it would be impossible to be aware of being in heaven after one’s death. Either I’m missing something or this is just wishful rationalization on the part of Christians.

Apparently at some point after the rapture those bodies headed to heaven get reconstituted, so the brain is “there”. The virgin mary is apparently already corporeally in heaven right now, toenails and all.

I honestly can’t tell if you’re being facetious or serious.

No, it’s quite mainline orthodox. Check out the “Apostles’ Creed” to find out what a large number of christians profess weekly as their core-most beliefs. It ends with “…(I believe in) the resurrection of the body and life everlasting, amen.” And yes, to those many who believe, Mother Mary was beamed by celestial teleporter directly into spaceship Heaven. It is an “article of faith,” as they say. So, ya, the central nervous system remains in tact within the divine solipsism of Yahweh’s skull. At least that’s what the company salesmen say. :unamused:

Can you explain why educated human beings would have a belief that is so far-fetched? If you were to show a dead body (perhaps one with a crushed, decayed or burned brain) to someone who holds such a belief, upon what basis would they still maintain that the dead person could continue to have consciousness? And without any physical evidence of the body being resurrected (or rebuilt) for an after-life, what is the basis for this belief? It seems to me to be more like a rationalization to avoid confronting their fear of death.

Yes, they were educated into believing it, often from a very young age. To those so educated, it is just as far-fetched to believe that corporeal corruption is a permanent condition.

They would no doubt simply say that God the Almighty allows such to be so.

A couple of millenia of culturing it.

Well, if you’re effectively acculturated to it early enough, you never actually need to rationalize per se, as your fear of death is technically already addressed by the mindset into which you’ve been raised. It’s very natural to believe what you’ve been told. It’s also very natural to resist anything which threatens your belief system. So, barring a sudden interest in philosophy or something, it’s quite natural for one to mitigate the technicalities which confront one’s belief in corporeal resurrection by simply saying that one has no reason meaningful enough to believe otherwise. Few people spend their leisure time attempting to disillusion themselves.

The original Judaic practice did not include an afterlife much at all.
If you read the Old Testament, you’ll notice that it is strangely lacking for all of the Christian focus on it.
It isn’t until the New Testament that we shift a focus to the afterlife more.

(and the KJV, once again, is not a good version to get an idea of what the original Hebrew was saying since it wasn’t translated well at all by comparison to what we can do now)

The early Judaic following worked much like Folk Religion of China; the state of things after death was accepted as existing, but nothing was really described about it nor was it held as a motivating factor for anything; rewards and punishments were delivered in this life and not in the next state of existence.

When the Judaic following did develop the idea of a resurrection, the idea was a literal resurrection of the physical body on an Earth; not a spirit world.
The spirit world was more or less seen as a holding tank.

There wasn’t a hell for the early Judaic followers; how could there be? They were God’s people.
What sense would it make for them to assume some form of grand eternal punishment while at the same time seeing themselves as the chosen race of man of which acted as the messengers and carriers of God’s will?

The idea of a dimensional separation of the spiritual and the material was something that came around, in this region, with the Persians and Greco-Roman’s.
Yes, the Egyptians had a separation of the afterlife, but the idea was still fairly related to the material crossing over or being directly linked to the spiritual; not as it later appeared in the Persian and dominantly Hellenistic approach of studying the uniqueness of what makes man essentially different from other living things; it’s spirit; it’s essence.

These concepts simply did not exist in Judaic-Christianity, and are absent from very, very early texts written by some of the Judaic-Christian followings.
The later texts, mostly of which are Pauline or post-Pauline approvals, are where we find the conversations of such concepts.
Essentially, after philosophy kicked in and had started to examine the essence of man, or the spirit of man and that it seemed to be something different than just the material form.

This is where that concept comes from; not from the Hebrews or early Judaic-Christians.

So when you ask why someone would believe in such a thing intelligently, strangely, it is the rise of intelligent analysis and critical thinking (philosophy) that originally caused for this idea to exist; that there is a difference between a man materially, and the essence of that man; their spirit or consciousness, and that this aspect is eternal of man even when the body is not.
That since it is not a tangible thing, this essence of a man, that it must be part of the same realm as all other non-tangibles; the spiritual realm.

It’s a very logical approach, and very intelligently thought out.

Is it provable?
Hell no.

Is it authentically Judaic?
No.

Is it authentically Christian?
No.

Is it authentically Hellenistic?
Yes.

Did the Hellenistic world examine and consume Persian concepts?
Yes.

Did Christianity become the primary religion of the Roman world?
Yes.

That pretty much nails it down for you by simply answering those questions.

It’s not originally a system for confronting death directly; it was originally a system for placing the category of where the essence of man fits in the world of multiple realms; tangibles and non-tangibles…and non-tangibles had their own realm.

Now-a-days, sure, it can be used by many for comfort.
At this point, it’s just been handed down over and over as the way it is because we’ve just come to accept that man has an essence to man that is inherently intangible and unique to man alone, separate from the rest of his body.

The only difference now, is that we’re re-examining how we classify this intangible aspect of man; is it truly part of an entire realm of intangibles, or does it only appear to be a thing unto itself…or is it just like the essence of wax; neither one state or the other, but the collective intangible concept of all states that we think of as wax behaviorally?

This is where our current theological and philosophical concepts sit now.

Christianity is part of the collective that holds that man carries the intangible essence (soul) that is indeed part of an intangible realm and not this material realm.

I don’t think they all were. What about those who converted as adults?

And if you were to ask them what they meant by “God the almighty”, what would they say? When I ask, they give me some kind of answer that even confuses me more as to what they mean. I guess what I really mean is what do they really mean by “God the almighty”?

What about a couple of millenia of culturing a belief of no consciousness after death?

Very well said.

^^

Those who converted as adults likely had a very compelling need to believe in something which transcends their everyday perception of reality, such need being stronger than their sense of evidence-based reasoning. This is not necessarily an indication of craziness, but a reflection of the human condition.

I’d lay large money on their meaning by “God the Almighty” that of a character based on the story of such as found in the Bible. A real “guy” in the “sky” who gives you “pie” when you “die” and did not “lie” …

It will no doubt take a couple of millenia of culturing a belief of no consciousness after death to relegate extant mythology into the history bin. Then again, new evidence to the contrary is always a possibility… perhaps the next Dalai Lama will have a new & exciting secret to share…

This is assuming that the brain is the mind and not just the organ that connects the mind to the body. I would have thought that there was plenty of room for the mind in the other 8 dimensions (string theory), or the missing 95% (cosmology), of the universe.

Remember the ganglia, sometimes called a brain, in each tentacle of the octopus and think of it ‘firewalled’ from the main brain. “There is a lot more in heaven and earth…”

I don’t get the percentage reference…

how can 95% be missing if we know that it is there?

Surely it should be: ‘The universe is far grander than we can comprehend’ rather than assigning arbitrary ‘percentage’ to some unknown quantity…

Consciousness is activity caused by the body’s existence - so long as the body has a brain organ that is capable of functioning that is can consciously apprehend itself as a ‘thing’ [see infinity/nothing thread].

Therefore, any belief in an afterlife is either:
Indoctrined by way of religious belief - that is, a subject unknowing of alternatives simply accepts what they are told

or

Fear of death - Understanding that consciousness is severly limited may lead people to posit an eternal existence because a ‘non-existent’ existence [that is, we cannot fathom non-existence except in terms of ‘existence’ of that state… language limitation]

I say that fear of death can be overcome without the need to revere eternity [that is, accept the temporary and actual experience as the totality of life] and enjoy it!
Understanding that without ‘me’, there is no ‘thing’ [there is no memory of ‘things’ either] liberates one from all the hardships of life - there is no ideal state, just the projetion of one; I find this sobering to say the least.

Hammond]
YOU DEFINITELY ARE MISSING SOMETHING

In ILP article: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=168962&start=0

it says, in the last paragraph:

It turns out that the past few decades have
discovered that there is a vast microtubule computing
and memory system inside each neuron of the brain, that
in fact the capacity of the brain is 15 ORDERS OF
MAGNITUDE greater than we previously thought. On top of
that, this microtubule system operates at microwave and
infrared frequencies which is 12 orders of magnitude
FASTER than neuronal firing frequencies. This means
that a lifetime of ordinary nocturnal dreams could be
read out in a few MICROSECONDS by this microtubule
memory system. This means that the “death dream” (aka
AFTERLIFE) could be read out in the last split second
of your life and then “time dilated” and viewed by the
dearly departed over a period of months or years… thus
making it APPEAR that this dream happens “after death”
when actually it occurs a split second BEFORE death.
Now, all of this is hypothetical, but I point out to
you that is based on existing scientific fact,
meaning that it IS POSSIBLE.
In summary, there MAY BE such a thing as a literal
LIFE AFTER DEATH.

Therefore, it turns out that the age old argument “dead brains can’t dream” has now
been scientifically proven to be IRRELEVANT vis a vis St. Paul’s description of Life After Death
given in I Corinthians ch 15:35-55

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You wrote [or somebody else did, but you quoted:

Re-read that Hammond, I removed the italic and the bold, apart from the key words.
Followed by this part:

Ok? Now I will show you why your last statement is incorrect:

It is incorrect because it states, clearly now, that the actual event occurs before death, it only appears to be after death to the subject. Relative to the objective reality about them, they die as they die.
The dream is only micro-seconds in ‘living’ terms, and so, they do not dream after death, but just before it.

Relative to this time for them is irrelevent, their life simply continues - it does not actually occur that their dream can outlast the actual event happening in their brain [in their neurons] - once the effect ends the dream ends [in microseconds] and then they die.

I think this shows that what is described is not consciousness after death, but time-dilation effect. Their physical body as we would define death, dies after they have had their ‘dream’ lasting months or years or however long relative to this time; but as I said, for us, as living bodies, that time is irrelevent. They die in a few micro-seconds as their dream ends.

[+1-1[0] wrote:
Re-read that Hammond, I removed the italic and the bold, apart from the key words.

[Hammond]
I don’t need to reread them. I’m the one that wrote them and publish them in the peer-reviewed literature!

[+1-1[0] wrote:
Followed by this part:

[+1-1[0] wrote:
Ok? Now I will show you why your last statement is incorrect:

[Hammond]
I’m waiting with bated breath.

[+1-1[0] wrote:
It is incorrect because it states, clearly now, that the actual event occurs before death, it only appears to be after death to the subject. Relative to the objective reality about them, they die as they die.
The dream is only micro-seconds in ‘living’ terms, and so, they do not dream after death, but just before it.

[Hammond]
No you’re totally incorrect. The “death dream” so-called is a total virtual reality created by the micro tubule memory of the brain. When it plays out it contains reality and the deceased Observer also. Therefore IT MAKES NO DIFFERENCE what speed the dream is played at. This is because the Observer is downloaded at the same speed. This is obvious to any physicist and a quote as a supporting example the opinion of professor Frank J. Tipler an internationally recognized physics authority:

[Hammond]
Therefore the speed of the download is absolutely irrelevant. The Observer will ALWAYS see the dream in real time, REGARDLESS of the speed with which it is read out.

[+1-1[0] wrote:
Relative to this time for them is irrelevent, their life simply continues - it does not actually occur that their dream can outlast the actual event happening in their brain [in their neurons] - once the effect ends the dream ends [in microseconds] and then they die.

I think this shows that what is described is not consciousness after death, but time-dilation effect. Their physical body as we would define death, dies after they have had their ‘dream’ lasting months or years or however long relative to this time; but as I said, for us, as living bodies, that time is irrelevent. They die in a few micro-seconds as their dream ends.

[Hammond]
No, you’re totally confused and mixed up. Fact of the matter is, the bedside observers will see the person die in a fraction of a second. But to the dearly departed, he lives on for years in paradise. Therefore, it is a question of RELATIVISTIC LOSS OF SIMULTANEITY. This is well-known and understood in classical physics. And it absolutely does not violate the fact that dead brains can’t dream. You are greatly confused.

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However, Hammond, that is not consciousness after the death that we recognize.

That is the key point.
When we use words, we refer to our observation, not another realities observation.

So death, in our words, refers to the time when we see death.
In our measure, that vivid reality of after-death occurs before we measure death as present.

Simply because it occurs as an existence after the death for the individual dying to the individual dying does not change that by our measure, this individual is not yet dead.

The relative measure that is of greater value at the moment is the living measure of reality and not the nearly dead’s measure of reality.

This is because we are not nearly dead people trying to understand the world of the living.
We are living trying to understand the world of the nearly dead.

So, it is useless to suggest that a value be placed on the nearly dead’s version of reality as the measure of time, and therefore, it is our measure of time that we rely on.
Therefore, the nearly dead individual is not conscious after death because the vision of reality after his death occurs before we declare him as dead.

Hammond, I hope we can forget about any personal issues when we discuss these topics?

Anyway,

You ignored what I wrote - I explained all that you explained, you even said ‘universal’’ time - what is universal time? I was under the impression that time is relative, and thus, I would measure time relative to my existence [my ‘time-dilated’ experience, according to your own SPOG, right?]

Basically, what you are saying and what you actually wrote don’t add up - relative time for the deceased does notoverlap our relative time in which they die - I said this, and you seem to be confused about it.

I understand perfectly the argument - the language used clearly undermines it.

Stumps seems to see the problem also, that you observe the dying die in a matter of microseconds.
This is inescapable, for the dream to continue after death [that is, consciousness] surely, it would have to be relative to their death as we observe it? Else we can just say:

As you die, your life is suddenly extended by a certain length of time - It plays out in real-time [months or years] relative to the dying, but actually [as you have said] relative to the ‘normalised’ time-dilated experience of everybody else, it is over in a matter of microseconds.

For me, the argument does not say anything on life after death, but rather, the dying experience time-dilation to a greater extent than if they were ‘living’ [as we are].

Also, you say that the death dream is ‘total virtual reality’ but it plays out and contains reality - because the oberserver is downloaded at the same speed.
BUt this is all computated in the brain of the dying - not anywhere else - so it is only relative to the dying, and when they die, the reality they experienced [the virtual one] also dies with them - in a matter of microseconds.

I do understand, and your attempts at arguing from authority have clearly been overridden here; a physicist needn’t one be to understand what you are saying!

[remember, no personal beef here! I am calling it as I see it!]

[TheStumps]
However, Hammond, that is not consciousness after the death that we recognize.

[Hammond]
That is not a completely coherent sentence but I will move on and perhaps it’s meaning will become clear to me later on.

[TheStumps]
That is the key point.
When we use words, we refer to our observation, not another realities observation.

[Hammond]
I AGREE WITH THAT STATEMENT COMPLETELY!

]TheStumps]
So death, in our words, refers to the time when we see death.
In our measure, that vivid reality of after-death occurs before we measure death as present.

[Hammond]
I AGREE WITH THAT STATEMENT COMPLETELY

[TheStumps]]
Simply because it occurs as an existence after the death for the individual dying to the individual dying does not change that by our measure, this individual is not yet dead.

[Hammond]
I AGREE WITH THAT STATEMENT COMPLETELY!

[TheStumps]]
The relative measure that is of greater value at the moment is the living measure of reality and not the nearly dead’s measure of reality.

[Hammond]
I AGREE WITH THAT STATEMENT COMPLETELY!

[TheStumps]
This is because we are not nearly dead people trying to understand the world of the living.
We are living trying to understand the world of the nearly dead.

[Hammond]
I AGREE WITH THAT STATEMENT COMPLETELY!

[TheStumps]
So, it is useless to suggest that a value be placed on the nearly dead’s version of reality as the measure of time, and therefore, it is our measure of time that we rely on.

[Hammond]
Whoa professor! There is such a thing as objective time. This is the time that Physics measures with a clock. All people regardless of whether they are"nearly dead"or just born or in any other physical condition, all agree upon “objective time”.

On the other hand, subjective time is is the time that the individual actually personally sees and experiences. No two people necessarily agree on that. And it is not necessarily the same as the clock on the wall. And certainly the time that is experienced in any proposed “life after death” would necessarily be a purely subjective time.

[TheStumps]
Therefore, the nearly dead individual is not conscious after death because the vision of reality after his death occurs before we declare him as dead.
[/quote]
[Hammond]
Wrong again. I’m afraid you philosophers do not have a clear understanding of what the term
“loss of simultaneity” means in Relativity physics.

Let me try and explain this in simple terms. Certainly you have heard of the famous
“TWINS PARADOX” of Relativity. This is a simple and well known example of what is called “loss of simultaneity” in Relativity physics.

The Twins Paradox is absolutely solidly experimentally proven beyond any question whatsoever. It has been experimentally measured in hundreds of thousands of laboratories for many years using atomic particles, atomic clocks, tall buildings and many other devices.

Generalizing this to human beings, it is possible to show that if one of two twins got onto a rocket ship and went on a high-speed journey near the speed of light in a big circle and came back to the earth within a year by his wristwatch, he would in fact find his twin brother to be a gray-haired 75-year-old man. That is a proven and accepted scientific fact and it’s known as the “twins paradox”.
People on earth would even say that the twin who went on the rocket lived 50 years longer than his twin brother, who himself lived to be 75! You could even call that life after death.

Well then, Hammond’s explanation of life after death turns out to be nothing but another variation of the Twins Paradox. In the case of death and the afterlife the bedside observers are the twin who stayed home and the dearly departed is the twin who goes on the rocket trip. Hence, the bedside observers see the man die in a split second but the dying person observes that the death dream takes three years, not a fraction of a second! believe me, as a physicist, there is absolutely nothing mysterious about this.

I should add one thing however, there are no rocket ships involved in the Afterlife. It turns out there two types of time dilation the first caused by velocity and the second caused by gravity. The classical Twins Paradox is a velocity time dilation, whereas the more sophisticated life after death phenomenon is caused by a gravitational time dilation. The result is the same however.

[TheStumps]
That is the key point.
When we use words, we refer to our observation, not another realities observation.

[Hammond]
I AGREE WITH THAT STATEMENT COMPLETELY! And nothing in the theory that I have advanced contradicts your statement.

[TheStumps]
So death, in our words, refers to the time when we see death.
In our measure, that vivid reality of after-death occurs before we measure death as present.

[Hammond]
I AGREE WITH THAT STATEMENT COMPLETELY!

[TheStumps]
Simply because it occurs as an existence after the death for the individual dying to the individual dying does not change that by our measure, this individual is not yet dead.

[Hammond]
I AGREE WITH THAT STATEMENT COMPLETELY!

[TheStumps]
The relative measure that is of greater value at the moment is the living measure of reality and not the nearly dead’s measure of reality.

[Hammond]
I don’t quite understand what you’re getting at there???

[Hammond]
This is because we are not nearly dead people trying to understand the world of the living.
We are living trying to understand the world of the nearly dead.

[Hammond]
Again you seem to have lost me. I don’t think you understand the concept of the Twins Paradox which is absolutely central to the scientific explanation of life after death.

[TheStumps]
So, it is useless to suggest that a value be placed on the nearly dead’s version of reality as the measure of time, and therefore, it is our measure of time that we rely on.
Therefore, the nearly dead individual is not conscious after death because the vision of reality after his death occurs before we declare him as dead.

[Hammond]
I don’t think you comprehend or understand what the well-known and world-famous TWINS PARADOX is. Until you can understand something as simple as Twins Paradox I don’t see how in the world you can possibly understand a scientific and coherent theory of life after death.

But I can assure you of one thing, that the scientific explanation of life after death that I have proposed COMPLETELY AGREES with the description of life after death as proposed by St. Paul in I Corinthians chapter 15 versus 35-55 and which is the consensus of religious opinion in Christianity generally.
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[1-1[0]"]
Hammond, I hope we can forget about any personal issues when we discuss these topics?

[Hammond]
Well, since you brought it up, don’t flatter yourself, you’re not qualified to argue with me personally.
I only agree talk to you publicly, and I have no intention of arguing with you.

[1-1[0]"]
Anyway,

You ignored what I wrote - I explained all that you explained, you even said ‘universal’’ time - what is universal time?

[Hammond]
A “standard clock”, a Cesium vapor atomic clock, is what I meant by the term “universal time”. By “universal” I meant “objective”.
A clock is a measure of objective time as opposed to a measure of subjective time which is measured by the individual’s
mental speed (personal perception) in bits per second which is entirely subjective.

[1-1[0]"]
I was under the impression that time is relative, and thus, I would measure time relative to my existence
[my ‘time-dilated’ experience, according to your own SPOG, right?]

[Hammond]
I have a Masters degree in theoretical physics from an accredited university in Massachusetts. I’m well
aware of the properties of time in Relativity.

[1-1[0]"]
Basically, what you are saying and what you actually wrote don’t add up - relative time for the deceased
does not overlap our relative time in which they die - I said this, and you seem to be confused about it.

[Hammond]
The theory of life after death that I have advanced is based on the well-known relativistic phenomenon
of “loss of simultaneity”. The most well-known example of this is known as the TWINS PARADOX,
which I’m sure you’ve heard about.

The relationship of the Twins Paradox to the SPOG is detailed in my reply to moderator
which I posted an hour ago on this discussion thread. I suggest you read that for further enlightenment.

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This relation depends on two frames of reference, one which undergoes a relative acceleration to the “stationary” twin on Earth, as such it would have little to do with anyone on Earth as relative speeds and gravitation would be practically the same. We can assume that significant time dilation effects will happen if a twin dies and leaves Earth accelerating to relative speeds close to light speed, were both to remain on Earth with one dying, the time dilation would be practically zero.

I understand perfectly the Twin Paradox.
That doesn’t change anything in the normal instance of anything regarding Death on Earth.

Why?
Because their body is receiving light at the the same speed that we are.
We can observe their body directly, unlike in the Twin Paradox.

And we can watch the second hand in the emergency room tick until they stop breathing and write down on a piece of paper that they died at a measured amount of relative time to those of us that are alive…it would be known as 2104.03 GMT; for example.

And that is the point I am telling you that you are not understanding for some reason; perhaps you are over complicating the issue, I’m not sure.

But regardless of when they think that they die, we measure that they die at a different time than they do; this is because of a relative shift in the sensory of time; which is very similar, but not the same as the Twin Paradox, yes.

However, OUR sense of time is the time we observe.
Not the dying sense of time.
Therefore, when we announce that someone has a vision of life after they die BEFORE seconds before they die, we are referring to the time period anchored to OUR observation…not theirs.
THEY have the shift in time sensory and not us, so their brain triggers the afterlife vision, and THEN they die; by OUR observation.

And OUR observation is what counts on THIS subject sense we’ll be alive after they are dead, and we’ll still be trying to figure out what happens to the dead…they won’t.

So OUR time is what matters and not THEIR time.

Therefore, if they have a vision BEFORE they die…then they have a vision BEFORE they die…not after.