• Jack CumminsAccepted Answer
    3.3k

    I agree that there is so much which we cannot know for sure. Some go back to the real basics, while others go into so much speculation. Personally, I am not sure where we should go because both approaches have limitations and I believe that the juxtapositions are important, but they don't seem definitiv. Explorations of ideas about consciousness and personal identity, beyond the material, often seem to be so vague, or elastic, and this may be an intrinsic aspect of consciousness and thinking which makes it hard to equate, or differentiate it from the physical basis of reality, as we know it.
  • Fooloso4
    2.4k
    I agree that there is so much which we cannot know for sure.Jack Cummins

    It is not a matter of what cannot be known for sure, it is a matter of what we can know nothing about at all.

    Speculation is fine as long as one does not mistake it for some kind of higher truth. It is all too evident that just this kind of mistake occurs around here all too often.
  • Jack Cummins
    3.3k

    But I do believe that we have to be careful of slipping into mystical muugidwash. I think that this applies to the many philosophies, ranging from the religious to scientific materialism. I believe that it is best not to start from knowing nothing, but seeing the basics of knowledge, as a starting point, but we probably are best not to try to find the complete answers because that would almost be about inflate us into an omniscient position. I am not really arguing with you, but just trying to frame our lack of knowledge. I am not sure whether we have too little or too much knowledge, and how this possible conundrum bears on our understanding of reality, especially in relation to the idea of life after death.
  • Apollodorus
    2k
    The biggest question which I would have about the idea of CS Lewis, is what would it mean to exist in the mind of God, especially as many challenge the idea of God, or have different ideas of God.Jack Cummins

    I agree. It would seem pointless to discuss the subject with people who dismiss the idea of God or, for that matter, of afterlife and metaphysical realities in general, when their only "contribution" is to assert that you don't know what you are talking about whilst reserving their own right to make long speeches about a subject that according to them doesn't exist. Immortality in Ancient Philosophy by A. Long makes interesting reading but I think, more generally, once you understand more or less how Platonism and related systems view the human soul and its relation to higher forms of intelligence, things tend to become a bit more clear.
  • bert1
    872
    Does philosophy have a valuable function do you think?

    Regarding figuring out the nature of the world I do think philosophy is all we have to tackle consciousness in a theoretical way.
  • Fooloso4
    2.4k
    Does philosophy have a valuable function do you think?bert1

    I think it does, but there is a lot of stuff called philosophy. You can even find it at the cosmetic counter. And to think I went to school all these years ...

    Regarding figuring out the nature of the world I do think philosophy is all we have to tackle consciousness in a theoretical way.bert1

    I think neuroscience is a more promising approach, but I don't think this excludes philosophy. The question of what happens to consciousness when we die, however, is not, in my opinion, a theoretical pursuit in either the ancient or modern sense of the term. It has no basis on which to stand. It is nothing more than a way of soothing the fear and desire for immortality.
  • Apollodorus
    2k
    Regarding figuring out the nature of the world I do think philosophy is all we have to tackle consciousness in a theoretical way.bert1

    That's how I tend to see it myself. Unfortunately, the materialists like to think that their own theories are the only valid or permissible ones and are trying to make philosophy into some kind of neo-Marxist dogma.
  • Corvus
    473
    If Stevenson and others apply scientific methods in their research then it can't be dismissed as "mysticism". In any case, their findings can't be rejected before even looking at them. To do so would be unscientific.Apollodorus

    Aha, now this sounds like a religion :D a cult. In fact, in the past, I have seen some esoteric and magical secret society people call themselves as scientists too. :)
  • Apollodorus
    2k
    In fact, in the past, I have seen some esoteric and magical secret society people call themselves as scientistsCorvus

    You were probably mixing with the wrong crowd in that case. As for myself, I have seen some scientists calling themselves scientists.
  • bert1
    872
    It is nothing more than a way of soothing the fear and desire for immortality.Fooloso4

    I think the question is interesting and possibly headway can be made. Does that mean that I am afraid of death and desire immortality?
  • Corvus
    473
    You were probably mixing with the wrong crowd in that case. As for myself, I have seen some scientists calling themselves scientists.Apollodorus

    I have see them on youtube. You seem have wild, dark and unhealthy imagination.
    Without facts, concrete evidence and proof, no one should call themselves scientist.
    Well, the pseudo scientists, esoteric people and the mystics could, and would, but no one would take them seriously unless they are the same crowd.
  • Apollodorus
    2k
    Then why you call yourself a scientist?Corvus
  • Corvus
    473
    Then why you call yourself a scientist?Corvus

    I don't think I have ever did. I am only a philosophy reader.
    You are still too hyper imaginative.
  • Apollodorus
    2k
    I don't think I have ever did. I am only a philosophy reader.Corvus

    Then how do you know that the people you saw in youtube were not scientists?
  • Corvus
    473
    Then how do you know that the people you saw in youtube were not scientists?Apollodorus

    Common sense.
  • Apollodorus
    2k


    So, having common sense makes you a scientist?
  • Corvus
    473
    So, having common sense makes you a scientist?Apollodorus

    Never said I was a scientist. They were calling themselves scientists.
  • Apollodorus
    2k


    But your common sense told you they were not scientists. So you are claiming that your common sense enables you to tell what is scientific and what is not.
  • Fooloso4
    2.4k
    Does that mean that I am afraid of death and desire immortality?bert1

    I don't know. You might be in a better position to answer that.
  • Fooloso4
    2.4k
    I think the question is interesting and possibly headway can be made.bert1

    How can headway be made? By what means can consciousness after death be measured?
  • Corvus
    473
    But your common sense told you they were not scientists. So you are claiming that your common sense enables you to tell what is scientific and what is not.Apollodorus

    I think I said it in the beginning. You seem replying even without reading the posts.
    Scientists use facts, concrete evidences and proofs for their truths.
    Common sense should tell you that fortune tellers are not scientists.
  • bert1
    872
    How can headway be made? By what means can consciousness after death be measured?Fooloso4

    I don't think it can be measured at all, even in a living person. Other minds can be inferred though. And by examining the arguments for inferring other minds in uncontroversial cases (e.g. other humans) one might (or might not) arrive at the conclusion that similar inferences can be made about anything at all. I haven't rehearsed the arguments here, just indicating how we might end up thinking that corpses (or their component parts) have experiences.
  • Apollodorus
    2k
    Scientists use facts, concrete evidences and proofs for their truths.Corvus

    Stevenson was a respected professor of psychiatry. His work was favorably reviewed in Scientific American. On what basis are you saying he was not a scientist?
    Ian Stevenson - Wikipedia
  • Corvus
    473
    Stevenson was a respected professor of psychiatry. His work was favorably reviewed in Scientific American. On what basis are you saying he was not a scientist?
    Ian Stevenson - Wikipedia
    Apollodorus

    I don't know who he is, but you should also bear in mind that there is a big debate, whether psychology can be classed as a science. You should read some Philosophy of Science books.

    p.s. : Don't take everything as truths what Wikipeedia says, or anything in internet. First read the classics, then use your common sense and logic, rather than relying on the information from the internet.
  • Apollodorus
    2k
    I don't know who he is, but you should also bear in mind that there is a big debate, whether psychology can be classed as a science. You should read some Philosophy of Science books.Corvus

    Right. So you don't know who Stevenson is, you don't know that psychiatry and psychology are two different things, you don't know that psychiatry uses scientific and empirical methods, but your "common sense" tells you that Stevenson was a "fortune teller"!

    You must have a highly unusual common sense then. A bit too unusual to believe it, to be honest.
  • Corvus
    473
    Right. So you don't know who Stevenson is, you don't know that psychiatry and psychology are two different things, you don't know that psychiatry uses scientific and empirical methods, but your "common sense" tells you that Stevenson was a "fortune teller".

    You must have a highly unusual common sense then. A bit too unusual to believe it, to be honest.
    Apollodorus

    I am not interested in Psychology or Psychiatry. I don't think I need to know who the Stevenson is, what his methods of researches were, to be able to tell what is genuine scientific truths, or religious type of claims on the minds and consciousness.

    I don't think my common sense is unusual. No I don't agree with you.
  • Apollodorus
    2k
    I don't think my common sense is unusual. No I don't agree with you.Corvus

    I don't agree with you either. Your common sense must be exceedingly unusual if you can tell that Stevenson was not a scientist when Scientific American says he was. Maybe you should become a scientist and tell other scientists what science is.
  • Valentinus
    1.3k
    Some people believe in immortality and others see death as the end. These are speculations, and I am an agnostic on that matter. But I am curious about what the experience of dreaming consciousness will be after death, even if it is an end. I think it will be of significance in some sense to our identity.Jack Cummins

    One interesting thing about the Bushido code is that acceptance of death does not change "who you are." It is suggested that self awareness will become more capable and effective when you stop playing with the inevitable.
  • Jack Cummins
    3.3k

    I probably wrote that sentence months ago, but I am sure that a lot of the ideas about immortality are based on the fear of death, and perhaps those who cling to life so strongly are those who are most afraid of the 'inevitable'. Really, I am not that afraid of non existence, because I don't have an all powerful ego. I think that the best ideal is not to fear death really, as there is so much potential suffering in earthly existence.
  • TheMadFool
    10.7k
    Well, you can think of the sea as a vast expanse or body of water that (1) contains and is itself as water and (2) contains things other than water itself such as fish.

    Now compare consciousness with the sea. It is a vast expanse or body of self-aware intelligent energy that is (1) aware of itself as itself and (2) aware of objects such as thoughts, emotions, sense perceptions, etc.
    Apollodorus

    I still can't wrap my head around M = {M}

    Assume M = {x} is the mind (M) is thinking about x
    Steps to self-awareness
    1. The mind is thinking about fire: M = {fire}
    2. The mind is thinking about the mind is thinking about fire: M = {{fire}}

    3. M = M
    4. {fire} = {{fire}}
    5. M = {M} = The mind is thinking about the mind

    Before we proceed, I'd like to clarify that treating mind as a set seems reasonable if we subscribe to the view that the mind contains thoughts, fire in the example above.

    6. M = {M}

    Is such a set, M = {M} possible? In other words, is the mind capable of self-refelction? Can the mind contain itself? Not out of the woods yet, I'm afraid.
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