• Athena
    1.1k


    The value of humans is something I think most of us wonder about and I like the way you handle the subject. I think a favor being pragmatic and Greek philosophy. And the way you worded your concern I am stuck with thinking we are less valuable because of imagining a different reality that is superior to this one. I know Plato did that and that has also bothered me. Just for the fun of it, let us accept our human reality is the best it is going to get. There may be more. There could live after death or we could have more than one life. but for now, on mother earth, it works for me to appreciate what we have and to strive to be the best human I can be.

    But boy, yesterday I sure did blow it! I lost all my composure in a Walmart and I hope I can avoid that store in the future because the customer service is so bad! It was easier to be a pleasant human being in the past when there was an effort to please the customer. Wasn't it Aristotle who talked about the art of being angry with the right person, in the right way, at the right time? Yeah, I like being practical. It is better than trying to be a saint. And there should be a philosophical explanation for avoiding unpleasant experiences that bring out the worst in us. :lol:
  • 180 Proof
    2.2k
    'Consciousness' isn't a thing, it's a process like respiration or digestion; and the extant evidence to the contrary doesn't falsify the conjecture that mind is no more (or less) than what the human brain does ...180 Proof

    Addendum:
    We could ask what is consciousness, exactly?Jack Cummins
    Furthermore (speculatively): 'consciousness' [seems] self-modeling brain-activity's phenomenal aspect/s (i.e. how minding feels). More ...
  • Athena
    1.1k
    We are the only animal that can imagine things differently than they are and then manifest the reality we imagine. That is pretty special and we need to be more responsible than a large percentage of US citizens are being. We need to dump education for a technological society with unknown values and get back to transmitting a culture that brings out the best in human beings.

    Education for technology has brought the worst in us. It is as Zeus feared. With the technology of fire, we have gained all other technologies and turned our backs on the gods. We are now technologically smart but unwise. Our intelligence is not of value without wisdom.
  • Book273
    209
    We are the only animal that can imagine things differently than they are and then manifest the reality we imagine.Athena

    Except for beavers eh. They see a creek, they imagine a home, they build a dam, then a home...

    Come to think of it, lots of things change their surroundings to suit their needs, so...

    ...I guess the prevalent theory is that if we can't communicate with them (let's ignore that maybe they don't want to talk to us) then they can't communicate, and so also cannot have an imagination, or anything else that we don't assign them. (sigh) I find people's inherent arrogance a constant annoyance, continually operating on a jumped up assumption of superiority.

    With respect to what happens to our consciousness after death; I adhere to the "energy cannot be destroyed, only transformed" theory. My consciousness will transform, or transmigrate, to an alternate location or energy level. Perhaps some fundamental memories, or memories of memories, will remain for me to build upon in the next go round.
  • Manuel
    70
    The same thing that happens before consciousness arose, it is simply absent and ceases to exist. The state prior to birth should not be any different from the stage after life. Maybe there's some principle that might suggest that consciousness unites with the universe, or something along those lines. But there's no evidence for this, nor any solid reason to believe that consciousness is extra-natural in a way that gravity or electromagnetism or anything in nature cannot be.
  • Jack Cummins
    1k

    What you are saying is interesting because there is definitely meant to be life before birth, in the period while the baby is in the womb.

    The idea of life uniting with the universe sounds rather nice.
  • Manuel
    70


    Sure. But I meant the moment before conception, when there wasn't anything that could be thought of, not even potentially, as a person. I don't see why after death, it would be any different, they look to me about the same. But who knows?
  • Jack Cummins
    1k

    The whole question is at what point does consciousness first emerge. Is it a spark which arises at conception and flickers out eventually at death. A few posts back I asked 'what is consciousness?' and someone gave me a link to a lengthy thread on consciousness and I found that the arguments were going around in circles. I think that this is because, ultimately, consciousness is a mystery. This was expressed so well by Erwin Schodringer:
    'Consciousness cannot be accounted for in physical terms, for consciousness is absolutely fundamental. It cannot be accounted for in terms of anything else. Quantum physics reveals a basic oneness of the universe. Multiplicticity is only apparent in truth, there is only one mind.'
  • steppo25
    5
    The question "what happens to some-thing" is - on THIS very occasion - pointless bcz the consciousness is not some-thing. It is rather no-thing fabricated FROM/ABOUT some-thing.
    Now, there is many people who are inclined to assert "hey, no-thing is some-thing too" - "the proof is that you are even talking ABOUT it: You are on this occasion basically using some-thing in order to deny some-thing."

    This assertion is at the core of Presuppositional Apologetics and of the Transcendental argument (behold, you are USING some-thing called truth, consciousness, thought, logic... in order to comment ABOUT truth, consciousness, thought, logic... regardless whether you mean to prove or to dismiss them, behold! You are using them in the veeeerry first place".

    Sure is, i assert a categorical error here: All that I DO use, it is a big elefant in the room: It is the individual evolved-primate brain, and everyone is factually using this brain. The consciousness is but a momentary, temporary symptom of the activity in the brain. the consciousness is {imaginary-non-causal} = epiphenomenal. IF we go quarrel whether the consciousness does exist or not - it is asserting a moot point:
    The consciousness is BUT being fabricated in a brain, while it is working. ONLY if you are capable of intellectually penetrating the very simple assertions of mine - if you accept that every dormancy period is providing an information that the consciousness is but temporarily fabricated - you can successfully refute the above-mentioned Apologetics. Kind regards from GERMANY!
  • Athena
    1.1k
    Except for beavers eh. They see a creek, they imagine a home, they build a dam, then a home...

    Come to think of it, lots of things change their surroundings to suit their needs, so...

    ...I guess the prevalent theory is that if we can't communicate with them (let's ignore that maybe they don't want to talk to us) then they can't communicate, and so also cannot have an imagination, or anything else that we don't assign them. (sigh) I find people's inherent arrogance a constant annoyance, continually operating on a jumped up assumption of superiority.

    With respect to what happens to our consciousness after death; I adhere to the "energy cannot be destroyed, only transformed" theory. My consciousness will transform, or transmigrate, to an alternate location or energy level. Perhaps some fundamental memories, or memories of memories, will remain for me to build upon in the next go round.
    Book273

    The beavers' behavior comes in the genes, not the development of the brain. We can inherit skills like beavers, birds, and other animals and insects. This is called "Genetic memory" and it is not equal to human imagination. Maybe someday high schools will include knowledge of our brains and modes of thinking. I think that would be a huge benefit to individuals and society. It might improve our communication etiquette.

    Respect, kindness, and consideration form the basis of good manners and good citizen-ship. Etiquette becomes the language of manners. Rules of etiquette cover behavior in talking, acting, living, and moving; in other words, every type of interaction and every situation.

    Manners and Etiquette | Encyclopedia.com
    — encylopedia.com
  • Manuel
    70

    That depends on if you think consciousness emerges, or if it's there at the beginning, which would be panpsychism. I don't find panpsychism convincing, although it of course is interesting.

    I think it makes more sense to consider it as a part of a system of organized matter, when this organized matter perishes, so too does consciousness. This of course makes use of the idea of emergence, which I think applies to many phenomena in nature.

    Even if there are elements of consciousness in the basic stuff of the universe, this doesn't apply to states such as dreamless sleep, or whatever "state" we were in prior to birth. So even if consciousness is fundamental, it doesn't explain absence of consciousness in many circumstances.
  • Jack Cummins
    1k

    Arthur Janov claims that the experience prior to birth is anything but basic in his book, 'The Primal Scream'. I think that in early childhood I was aware of having experienced a definite something beyond birth( or even after a previous life before this one).

    I have said a bit about my experiences earlier in the thread and don't want to say more here to bore other readers who have read my previous posts. But what I will add here is that I did think about death at an early age because my grandmother died when I was 2 and a half and this was explained to me.

    But the one point I would criticise about your post is that you say that there is no consciousness in dreamless sleep. This is disputable and here, I am thinking of the near death experiences. This has only been touched on briefly but has been looked at more fully on another thread on evidence of consciousness after death by @"Sam26, if you are interested.
  • Book273
    209
    Respect, kindness, and consideration form the basis of good manners and good citizen-ship. Etiquette becomes the language of manners. Rules of etiquette cover behavior in talking, acting, living, and moving; in other words, every type of interaction and every situation.

    Manners and Etiquette | Encyclopedia.com
    — encylopedia.com

    I agree completely. I find this is increasingly lacking, which is unfortunate.
  • Manuel
    70

    Sure, many of us have felt the terror of being aware of our own mortality at a young age, maybe 2 is very young compared to most, but I think that overlooks the main point. Prior to be born, when you try to think about what it was like, what do you say? I've seriously attempted to do a kind of phenomenological exercise here, and I find that, no term I can come up with fits the "state I was in" before being born. I can't speak of fear, boredom, joy, worry, pain, pleasure or anything else. The best idea I can come up to describe how it was like before I came to life, would be "none of the experiences I've had in life comes close to saying anything about such a state", which can be translated simply into "I felt nothing."

    You can speak about near death experiences and the like, but virtually all cases on this topic turn out to be highly suspect, similar to when people claim they see a flying saucer in some field. If there is some uniformity of experience in people who have gone through near death experiences, that can only suggest to me that they were in a similar state. If testimonies vary in terms of NDE, then all the more reason to be suspect about what a handful of people claim happens when you are dying and not yet dead. It's true that there is brain activity when we are in states of dreamless sleep, perhaps we may have even had a brief dream which we completely forget when we wake up. But if experientially it amounts to no experience at all, what would brain processes go on to add to my experience of dreamless sleep? The experience stays the same.
  • Jack Cummins
    1k

    I agree with you about testimonies, including near death experiences. The people who had them did not die finally. I think that the real problem with the question of life after death is that we don't know the answer ultimately. I was brought up to believe that it existed, but questioned it and I go through phases when I do or do not believe in it. I think that because it is speculation it is easy to build up belief for or against it. Really, I hover between wanting and not wanting it to be true.
  • Manuel
    70

    To be clear, it's possible for there to be something after death. It's also possible that before birth, our souls lived in some other realm or different universe or something. I think that it is very unlikely. But as you said, in the end, we don't know. It boils down to what you think makes more sense to each person.
  • Ignance
    23
    You die and immediately from the perspective of your individual mind you'll get reborn into the same life as now and as you always have lived.Gorback

    can you clarify what you mean by this?
  • Ignance
    23
    It is hard to imagine my computer, books, desk, chair, etc. as animated. Effectively we are living in a dead world when we are separate from nature.Athena

    the hippie says since everything is nothing but frequencies and vibrations or energy slowed down, everything is alive in its own way even if it can’t be expressed in what we consider or acknowledge as “alive”

    may be bullshit, but it’s pretty!
  • Pantagruel
    1.3k
    The kind of things that "happen" to consciousness are experiences. In fact, everything that "happens" to consciousness is an experience by definition. It is not like my consciousness is a soccer ball, that can get kicked around by external forces while I remain oblivious to them. If it "happens" to me, then I experience it. If I don't experience it, then it didn't happen to me.

    So what happens when you die is you have an experience. When you stop having an experience, then things stop happening. But there cannot be any transition between the two, otherwise, that would be an experience and so, still happening....
  • Ignance
    23
    So what happens when you die is you have an experience. When you stop having an experience, then things stop happening. But there cannot be any transition between the two, otherwise, that would be an experience and so, still happening....Pantagruel

    aren’t experiences filtered through our senses though? if death shuts down the brain (which is the analytical centerpiece of all sensory input) how is it still an experience? you don’t keep dying?
  • Pantagruel
    1.3k
    Could there be an experience of the brain dying? I guess that is the question.
  • Athena
    1.1k
    the hippie says since everything is nothing but frequencies and vibrations or energy slowed down, everything is alive in its own way even if it can’t be expressed in what we consider or acknowledge as “alive”

    may be bullshit, but it’s pretty!
    Ignance

    I hardly think it is bull shit because it is true, however, our understanding of it is inadequate.
  • Athena
    1.1k
    Could there be an experience of the brain dying? I guess that is the question.Pantagruel

    That is called dementia of Alzheimer's disease.
  • EnPassant
    487
    So, I am interested in other people's thoughts on the question of what becomes of consciousness at death?Jack Cummins

    What happens a person's consciousness when they leave university? Not much. University is a concept or a context designed to bring about certain ends; educate the student for further things. Likewise with human life. As matter is a concept, rather than a substance, so is human life a concept - a physical, biological, social context and concept. (Matter is an idea, not a substance)

    I believe that when the spirit leaves this university/concept/physical domain, it continues on.
  • Jack Cummins
    1k

    Yes, what happens to consciousness when you leave university? Perhaps you can end up behaving forever more in an afterlife of acting like a student. That is what I have probably ended up doing so far: living in student-like accommodation, reading books and writing etc. You can even be reincarnated onto another course. Perhaps, eventually you will reach Nirvana, which I have not managed so far, even when I was working. I don't know what Nirvana would entail here: having a family, becoming a professor?
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