Consciousness after death?



Hi Uccisore,

But where does this leave “the resurrection of the body”? Do not a fair many Christians believe their actual physical body will be rejoined with their soul after Judgement Day or somewheres theres abouts the Rapture, just as Mother Mary’s (and Jesus’s) body ascended uncorrupted into heaven? As mentioned earlier in this post, doesn’t the Apostles’ Creed include such a belief?

Yeah, I believe in a physical Resurrection, I think just about all the older Christian sects do. However, I don’t really see what the relevance to the argument is? Even in that case, it’s still true that God, angels, and demons are all conscious, and that none of them has anything like a ‘physical brain’ as far as I’ve ever heard in theology. It still seems to me like the ‘consciousness requires a physical brain’ argument amounts to ‘Christianity is at odds with materialism’, which isn’t all that exciting unless a materialism proof is forthcoming.

…well, there is the Adam-touching-Yahweh-in-the-Brain/Cloud thing on the Sistene Chapel ceiling… but in any case, independent of whether celestial-being consciousness is comparable to human consciousness, the question arises as to what purpose physical resurrection could possibly serve other than to provide sensory input to human consciousness (i.e. allow it its own established form of being, versus some radical metaphysical transmorphism), via a rejuvenated central nervous system? Why else would such a rematerialism arise? It would certainly address the issue of the OP.

To express spiritual reality in the physical world. As Jesus taught in the passage commonly known as the Lord’s prayer, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” So, according to this way of thinking, God wants flesh and blood humans doing his will on the terrestrial plane.

But what will is there to be done after Judgement day, and in any case why maintain the illusion of physicality (except to make things accessible to the established form of human consciousness)?

After judgement day there is a new heaven and a new earth. That suggests that corporeal reality is still part of God’s plan. Christianity doesn’t view physicality as an illusion but rather as not the only level of being.

Yes, I think I understand that, so far as it goes. But isn’t the corruptible/decadent cosmos we presently occupy not effectively an illusionary level; the non-illusionary physicality being an essentially transformed (transsubstantiated?) one? Related, perhaps. But substantively distinct in fundamental ways. For instance, eternal. Perfect. Unblemished (separating and leaving aside the matter of hell, of course).

In any case, though, it would seem that the perfected “spiritual body” we (re)inhabit in this post-judgemental heaven-on-earth (or again, for that matter, hell, but I’m not going there… :shifty: ) is equiped with a central nervous system (albeit metagenetically purified by the fires of purgatory or some other way), and that our soul’s enjoying consciousness is dependent on its retaining contact with that (ultraphysical) personal identity system, no?

Not that I believe in the Christian myth about Heaven and Hell, but I disagree that it takes a functioning brain to have consciousness. I believe consciousness is associated with any physical system undergoing some activity, including rotting decaying brains.

See the link in my sig for my views on this matter.

Like Platonism, or Neoplatonism, Christianity does teach that there are degrees of reality with God being highest or most real.

I was about to agree. But I’m not sure what you mean by “(ultraphysical) personal identity system.”

I tend to see Christianity as pertaining more to an Aristotelian framework (as an aside, I find the Druize faith, little that I know of it, curious due to its very explicit attendance to Neoplatonism). Nonetheless, would it, then, be fair to say that the least real = most illusory, and that the physical world we occupy is the most illusory? If so, then, although it might be said that Christianity can talk of multiple levels of being, this is still contained by a determination that “lower” levels are respectively “false” levels. …such that the discussion reverts to an Aristotelian matter of defect?

Simply that, as opposed, say, to one’s being’s becoming fused indistinctly into the Glory of God (cf. Fichte?), one rather retains a separate egoic state of consciousness by means of the materially perfected (bio)physics through which one’s spiritual brain is composed.

Interesting questions remain, of course. Does such an “ultraphysical” state imply that one’s brain is supremely “normalized”, or does one’s genetic inheritance retain abnormal characteristics. For instance, if during one’s stay on this mortal coil one were a person with Downs Syndrome, would one become a perfected Downs person or would one no longer have the attributes of Downs? Certainly an issue of personal identity and its connection to biophysics, regardless of its being on the non-deficient level of the “New Earth”.

Different philosophies have been appropriated at different times. Augustine was influenced by neoplatonism. Aquinas appropriated Aristotle. I can think of a case in theology where physical reality was considered false as such. It has been considered less real because it is corruptible as opposed to eternal. Maybe you have an instance in mind.

I gotta go. I’ll get back to you on your other points. Ciao.

…it wouldn’t show anymore, but I’ve actually read Confessions, City of God, Summa Contra Gentiles, and sections of Summa Theologica. Not recently, mind you. :slight_smile:

I guess a lot hangs on what is meant by “false”. Many Christians are certainly taught that the body is but a shell, and that its “needs” are not to be held in particularly high regard in terms of their authenticity content.

To me the idea of “less real” seems a lot like “a little pregnant”, just as the idea of an “ultrabrain”, if you will, seems to imply that the one I’m using right now ain’t the “real” one. :confused:

Oh man Ought…you just nailed down one of my favorite things with that statement about Aristotle and Christianity.

I don’t have anything to add here…I just love it that someone else grabbed that idea as well.