• intrapersona
    558
    I guess I didn't word the title the best as Atheism is exclusively about the rejection of God/God's. What I intend though is a questioning of the rejection of the concept of an afterlife, as it pertains to the conception religions have painted for us. I have made another thread about what may be wrong with the idea of viewing death as pure annihilation where you cease to exist in any way, shape or form. Find that here: http://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/1009/where-does-materialism-fail-in-explaining-the-death-of-consciousness#Item_0

    We all know no belief system is ever air tight in all respects, so what is wrong with the atheist's perspective that there is no afterlife? How could it be false in a materialist sense?
  • Rich
    3.2k
    It's not false - nor is it true. It just unnecessarily eliminates possibilities. But is it correct to say that all atheists have the same view of the life/death cycle? Maybe there are differences?
  • intrapersona
    558
    It's not false - nor is it true. It just unnecessarily eliminates possibilities. But is it correct to say that all atheists have the same view of the life/death cycle? Maybe there are differences?Rich

    Oh yeah, i see your point. I would say all atheist would agree that there is no religious afterlife, as that is how atheism is defined. Furthermore, they would think that because there is no religious afterlife then there is nothing after death and consciousness is created entirely within the brain.

    I guess you could say that what is false about atheism in this respect IS that it eliminates possibilities unnecessarily. I was really enquiring though about what is false in believing that there is nothing after death, in other words 'is that a rational position to hold'?
  • 0 thru 9
    948
    Does atheism completely preclude any kind of reincarnation? I can vaguely imagine a non-theistic rebirth scenario.
  • lambda
    76
    I think there's a lot of counterevidence to the ‘nothing happens when you die’-understanding of death.

    Consider dreams. I frequently die in my dreams, and yet, here I am still existing.

    I’ve dreamed of falling to my death from a great height. I’ve dreamed of being shot to death. I’ve dreamed of drowning to death. I’ve dreamed of being eaten alive by wolves. And yet despite all that, I still exist. I am clearly indestructible.

    Since the waking world is a dream, I fully expect to survive my waking death in pretty much the same way I survive my dream deaths.
  • Bitter Crank
    9.8k
    I’ve dreamed of falling to my death from a great height. I’ve dreamed of being shot to death. I’ve dreamed of drowning to death. I’ve dreamed of being eaten alive by wolves. And yet despite all that, I still exist. I am clearly indestructible.lambda

    You might be indestructible if you had actually fallen to your would-be death, and didn't die; same for being actually shot and not dying. Had you been eaten by waves, and yet still existed, you'd have a great point to make: "I am indestructible". However... you dreamed these events, and waking up from a dream is something short of a miraculous resurrection.

    I think there is no evidence of anything happening when you die, other than we having a rotting corpse to dispose of. However, there is no reason why we would have evidence for an afterlife, were an afterlife to actually exist. You would die, some essence of your person, a soul, a vapor, something... would go somewhere, the great beyond, and never return. It might be perfect bliss, it might be perfect hell, it might be a boring drag -- we just wouldn't know, whether we were atheists or not.

    Same for God. God might exist or not, but we have no way of proving or disproving it finally.
  • Thorongil
    3.2k
    We all know no belief system is ever air tight in all respectsintrapersona

    Do we?

    so what is wrong with the athiests perspective that there is nothing after death?intrapersona

    Why is this the "atheist perspective?" The denial that God or the gods exist is not to deny that there is "nothing after death," whatever that means. You also misspelled "atheist," which additionally needs an apostrophe to show possession in your sentence.
  • intrapersona
    558
    I think there's a lot of counterevidence to the ‘nothing happens when you die’-understanding of death.

    Consider dreams. I frequently die in my dreams, and yet, here I am still existing.

    I’ve dreamed of falling to my death from a great height. I’ve dreamed of being shot to death. I’ve dreamed of drowning to death. I’ve dreamed of being eaten alive by wolves. And yet despite all that, I still exist. I am clearly indestructible.

    Since the waking world is a dream, I fully expect to survive my waking death in pretty much the same way I survive my dream deaths.
    lambda

    Is that all the counterevidence you have? I am trying to find as much as I can but I've got nothing and the one you supplied seems pretty weak. I mean your trying to relate a REM dream state to existence itself, sure there are parallels but they are not equivalent, nor is there any evidence for that the world is a dream or what even follows from that if it was a dream (IE what is beyond the dream? more physical states?)
  • intrapersona
    558
    Do we?Thorongil

    Yes because every belief system presupposes without evidence which is therefore "not air tight" airtight=factual and impossible to disprove

    Why is this the "atheist perspective?" The denial that God or the gods exist is not to deny that there is "nothing after death," whatever that means. You also misspelled "atheist," which additionally needs an apostrophe to show possession in your sentence.Thorongil

    By definition, atheism rejects God. I said atheism rejects a religious afterlife like that of heaven, it just so happens to be the case that EVERY SINGLE ATHEIST I have ever met also "just happens" to flat out reject any possibility of afterlife whatsoever, so if that is not saying something about the state of minds of people who believe in atheism I don't know what is (IE belief without evidence).

    Anyway, all I really wanted to explore is the flaws in believing there is nothing after death and that you exist only in your brain. The only one I can think of is that we don't know what matter is yet or how consciousness emerges... that is quite an explaination gap that ought to hinder any sort of conclusion like what these athiests speak of "when your dead your dead, see?"
  • Babbeus
    51
    Does atheism completely preclude any kind of reincarnation? I can vaguely imagine a non-theistic rebirth scenario.0 thru 9

    Not at all, you have the panpsychist scenario:
    https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/panpsychism/
  • 0 thru 9
    948
    I have a suspicion or hope that those who have already passed away, wherever they are, call those still living here on earth "the dead".
  • intrapersona
    558
    Not at all, you have the panpsychist scenario:
    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/is-consciousness-universal/
    Babbeus

    Yeah, but how many atheists are panpsychists? Come on! They usually subscribe to suspended judgement like agnosticism for a more inquisitive standpoint that is open to new interpretation.

    Whats more is that pansychism if worded slightly different is very close to religious belief in deities, IE a universal god mind that is the totality of everything. The only difference here is the word GOD which can mean multiple things and i think someone could even get away with saying they believe in a panpsychist god while still being an atheist (rejecting the conventional, accepted, biblical interpretation of god).
  • Thorongil
    3.2k
    I said atheism rejects a religious afterlife like that of heaven, it just so happens to be the case that EVERY SINGLE ATHEIST I have ever met also "just happens" to flat out reject any possibility of afterlife whatsoever, so if that is not saying something about the state of minds of people who believe in atheism I don't know what is (IE belief without evidence).intrapersona

    Which is perhaps due to their materialism or naturalism, then, as opposed to their atheism.
  • sime
    611
    "There is nothing after death"

    it first needs to be established whether there is a meaningful phenomenological or behavioural notion of absolute unconsciousness. Otherwise "there is nothing" cannot be part of a meaningful observation sentence , behavioural sentence or abstract sentence referring to experience, qualia or phenomena.

    Even if such a notion is valid, general sentences of the form "This is how things are after my own death" look as problematic as the thought of a ruler measuring beyond its length.

    Cultural atheism, while rejecting theism still clings to most of the same transcendental superstitions and prejudices as judeo-Christianity, superstitions that Immanuel Kant ought to have put to rest via a grammatical banishment of all talk concerning things in themselves.
  • Maw
    2.5k
    Atheism is simply the lack of belief in a God. It says nothing about what happens after death.
  • Rich
    3.2k


    I would say that it is possible to investigate holographic theories where everything is essentially memory stored in the Universal background, Bohm's Implicate Order. Do we have any evidence that there may be transcendental memory. Yes, I believe there is and it manifests as inherited or ingrain skills.
  • Bitter Crank
    9.8k
    I don't follow you on the holographic bit. But as for transcendental memory... Squirrels, dogs, fish, bees, and people all seem to be born with larger or smaller skill sets. Our skill set seems to be relatively small. Many animals, however, are born, nurtured for a while, (and in some cases trained) and then live for years, added freshly learned stuff.

    If there is transcendental memory, it seems to deliver more to wild animals than it does to us. We are born with some "information". For instance, human babies seem to have an understanding that objects fall. Show the little observer a balloon filled with helium, let go of it, and the baby is shocked (shocked!) that the object goes up instead of down. Is this an example of transcendental memory?
  • Wayfarer
    13.6k
    Yes, I believe there is and it manifests as inherited or ingrain skills.Rich

    I have always felt drawn to that idea. Musical prodigy, for instance. There are children who can learn piano without any effort at all. Mozart was able to compose at age 5. Squirrels know how to store nuts, dogs how to catch and chase, but I don't have any trouble assigning that to Darwinian adaption. Musical prodigy - not so much.

    Aside from that, there is also the research of children who remember their past lives, although from experience on forums, I know this is generally denied in advance.
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    Aside from that, there is also the research of children who remember their past lives, although from experience on forums, I know this is generally denied in advance.Wayfarer
    This is an interesting subject. I don't deny past lives, and I'm quite open to the possibility, just that, one life would have no bearing on the other life, for the simple reason that we forget it. So my past life - whatever it was - is of no significance to me now.

    But regarding the research, if past lives exist - then why is there no concept of it in some of the world's religions - like Christianity or Islam? This fact alone seems quite strange - I mean if people remembered past lives across the entire globe, then I would expect all cultures to have the idea.
  • intrapersona
    558
    it first needs to be established whether there is a meaningful phenomenological or behavioural notion of absolute unconsciousness. Otherwise "there is nothing" cannot be part of a meaningful observation sentence , behavioural sentence or abstract sentence referring to experience, qualia or phenomena.sime

    Exactly! At least if i think what you're saying is correct. Are you saying that we can only know what absolute unconsciousness is from the standpoint of consciousness. If so then we can't ever actually know what absolute unconscious is in totality, just a vague idea of the absence of what we are currently using to talk about what we are currently using or will not be currently using in the future (consciousness).
  • intrapersona
    558
    Atheism is simply the lack of belief in a God. It says nothing about what happens after death.Maw

    Maybe I should have said materialist instead of God in the thread title but tell me then.. what is an "atheistic view on death"? I know atheism is the rejection of God, but if you reject God then it makes no sense to speak of an afterlife which is different from something like reincarnation. Therefore if you are an atheist, you reject religious concepts of the afterlife too therefore and that is why i decided to use atheism in the title. It doesn't really matter, you should know what I meant if you wanted to contribute anything to answering that question apart from merely criticizing semantics.
  • intrapersona
    558
    Cultural atheism, while rejecting theism still clings to most of the same transcendental superstitions and prejudices as judeo-Christianity, superstitions that Immanuel Kant ought to have put to rest via a grammatical banishment of all talk concerning things in themselves.sime

    Can you spell that out a bit more for us? What are these transcendental superstitions and prejudices and talk concerning things in themselves?
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k
    Atheism, as others have noted, is only a lack of belief in gods, or a belief that no gods exist. There's not actually an "atheistic view of death."

    Re the view of death that you're referring to--your systems simply stop functioning, so that you lose consciousness cease to exist as a sentient creature, etc., nothing is false about that. It's rather true.
  • Rich
    3.2k
    A holographic universe would be one where memory is impressed in the fabric of the Universe itself as a hologram as opposed to being localized in only one area (e.g. the brain).

    It is possible that we are all evolving, very subtlety, via this form of memory. Of course, as with any memory (and any hologram), it takes lots of reinforcement. The memory is not equally strong in all areas.
  • Rich
    3.2k


    I think it is fair to say that most materialist atheists believe that all memory of living is lost upon death. I would say that such a view of memory/life is unnecessarily restrictive (it really adds nothing to one's life) and constricts growth into potentially interesting and healthier views about life.
  • intrapersona
    558
    Re the view of death that you're referring to--your systems simply stop functioning, so that you lose consciousness cease to exist as a sentient creature, etc., nothing is false about that. It's rather true.Terrapin Station

    But you can't prove consciousness is created within the brain because correlation is not causation. There is no way you can prove that you cease to exist as sentient being at death, that is only your interpretation from what you see when you see a dead body on the floor that used to be your wife/mother/friend/random etc. Because if that person actually went to an afterlife but you never knew about it until the moment of death then you will always be stuck in thinking you are right because there is no evidence to say otherwise.
  • intrapersona
    558
    It is possible that we are all evolving, very subtlety, via this form of memory. Of course, as with any memory (and any hologram), it takes lots of reinforcement. The memory is not equally strong in all areas.Rich

    Isn't this what morphic resonance fields are about? Is this a theory that is being explored at all?
  • intrapersona
    558
    Atheism, as others have noted, is only a lack of belief in gods, or a belief that no gods exist. There's not actually an "atheistic view of death."Terrapin Station

    So if a christian believes in christianity then he believes in the afterlife. Atheism flat out rejects christianity so it therefore rejects notions of a religious afterlife which occur in people who believe in deities. People who believe in deities believe in the afterlife, so an atheistic view of the afterlife is one with a deity and therefore a deity and an afterlife are inextricably linked.

    As I already said to someone else in this thread already "It doesn't really matter, you should know what I meant if you wanted to contribute anything to answering that question apart from merely criticizing semantics in the first place."
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k
    But you can't prove consciousness is created within the brainintrapersona

    Empirical claims are not provable. Period. So nothing to worry about there. Whatever it is, if it's an empirical claim, it's not provable. There's no reason to even concern ourselves with this issue, because we know that empirical claims are not provable.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k
    Atheism flat out rejects christianityintrapersona

    Only insofar as Christianity makes claims about gods. Atheism is only a lack of belief in gods or a belief that there are no gods. There's nothing else to it. It doesn't imply anything else.

    And yeah, it's not a big issue. I answered the question aside from this.
  • Rich
    3.2k


    Morphic resonance is one version of explaining memory and habits in the Universe. If I'm not mistaken, Sheldrake does credit Bergson with inspiring his ideas concerning morphic resonance. There are others who are exploring these possibilities but let's face it, the money is in materialistic research and humans tend to follow en masse the Pied Piper of money. For those who are not so inclined, there is a very rich, rewarding and healthy life in the exploration of memory, intuition, and creativity.
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