Death

So what's really going on?

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Hobbes' Choice
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Re: Death

Post by Hobbes' Choice »

Lacewing wrote:
Hobbes' Choice wrote:Do you expect me to believe that without these unique pathways and structures, that we may persist in some way?
I have no expectation of that from you. I'm not saying "we" persist individually and/or in any way that we're familiar with. I think there is something else to "us" than these individual identities. I don't think our identities or individual souls "go on" after the body dies. (I even suspect that we're NOT actually individual souls, but rather "collections".) Death of a body simply means that all illusion of separateness disappears. .
No it means all illusions, all delusions, all perceptions, and all experiences disappear.
"Soul" is a myth; a primitive explanation of the thing that leaves the body on death to explain the cessation of activity.
We just know better now.
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Lacewing
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Re: Death

Post by Lacewing »

Hobbes' Choice wrote:it means all illusions, all delusions, all perceptions, and all experiences disappear.
How do you know that the physical brain is the only source of transmission/exchange?
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Hobbes' Choice
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Re: Death

Post by Hobbes' Choice »

Lacewing wrote:
Hobbes' Choice wrote:it means all illusions, all delusions, all perceptions, and all experiences disappear.
How do you know that the physical brain is the only source of transmission/exchange?
It is evident.

You can remove the personality with a blunt spoon.
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Lacewing
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Re: Death

Post by Lacewing »

Hobbes' Choice wrote:
Lacewing wrote:
Hobbes' Choice wrote:it means all illusions, all delusions, all perceptions, and all experiences disappear.
How do you know that the physical brain is the only source of transmission/exchange?
It is evident.

You can remove the personality with a blunt spoon.
I'm not talking about the personality or identity or a soul or a body. Why do you think that's all that we consist of? No, there is nothing ultimately EVIDENT to everyone... so you can quit saying that unless you specify that it's all that is evident to you. :)
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Greta
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Re: Death

Post by Greta »

Sorry about the delay, Belinda, Hobbes and AUK. It seems that my new PC with Windows 10 won't allow me to access any files or applications and had to reconnect my old PC.
Belinda wrote:I have no reason to belittle or disbelieve Greta's or anyone's NDE
Mine was only a peak experience, with a number of characteristics that are similar to NDEs. I read about a lot of them and many cases result in people changing their attitudes and lives for the better afterwards. Ideally, we should not need to be in mortal peril to learn the lessons of those who have come closer to the edge than we have.
Belinda wrote:However I can't see any reason why the validity of NDEs implies that NDEs persist after brain death. Isn't it more likely that NDEs are a subjective aspect of the living brain? Greta?
Certainly possible. But what is "our consciousness"? I would guess that, aside form basic genetic differences, the amount of "consciousness awareness" that could said to be my own, independent of human culture, is minute. Maybe a fraction of a percent. If one identical monozygotic twin was raised in the wild by woods and another with a suburban family, they would be completely unrecognisable in terms of personality and character.

Still, as I said to Hobbes earlier, I want to know what's happening at the Planck scale - the smallest possible scale at which anything can be meaningfully said to happen - first. My suspicion is that the smallest scale of reality is not subject to entropy (they'd break down into what?) and would accumulate rather than change form.
Belinda wrote:Dying is a process that has duration in time. However after the uncertain moribund state of living has finished, and disintegration is irretrievably happening the only theory of existence that fits with continuing awareness is Cartesian dualism.
What if our kind of consciousness is not the only type in existence? Maybe there are other types of consciousness in systems that we don't understand. I am interested in the massive gulf of possibilities that lie between the 19th century materialist logical positivism (a weak sketch of reality at best) and even less credible theism - it is that very gulf that was first explored in quantum mechanics and will surely be explored more by scientists in the future.
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Greta
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Re: Death

Post by Greta »

Lacewing wrote:I'm not talking about the personality or identity or a soul or a body.
People have been conditioned to believe that anything that does not conform to 19th century logical positivism must necessarily be related to religious concepts. We always forget that our experts will be are utterly naive compared with the experts of even just a century's time. I wonder what they will find out that overturns our current models?
Belinda
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Re: Death

Post by Belinda »

Greta wrote:Sorry about the delay, Belinda, Hobbes and AUK. It seems that my new PC with Windows 10 won't allow me to access any files or applications and had to reconnect my old PC.
Belinda wrote:I have no reason to belittle or disbelieve Greta's or anyone's NDE
Mine was only a peak experience, with a number of characteristics that are similar to NDEs. I read about a lot of them and many cases result in people changing their attitudes and lives for the better afterwards. Ideally, we should not need to be in mortal peril to learn the lessons of those who have come closer to the edge than we have.
Belinda wrote:However I can't see any reason why the validity of NDEs implies that NDEs persist after brain death. Isn't it more likely that NDEs are a subjective aspect of the living brain? Greta?
Certainly possible. But what is "our consciousness"? I would guess that, aside form basic genetic differences, the amount of "consciousness awareness" that could said to be my own, independent of human culture, is minute. Maybe a fraction of a percent. If one identical monozygotic twin was raised in the wild by woods and another with a suburban family, they would be completely unrecognisable in terms of personality and character.

Still, as I said to Hobbes earlier, I want to know what's happening at the Planck scale - the smallest possible scale at which anything can be meaningfully said to happen - first. My suspicion is that the smallest scale of reality is not subject to entropy (they'd break down into what?) and would accumulate rather than change form.
Belinda wrote:Dying is a process that has duration in time. However after the uncertain moribund state of living has finished, and disintegration is irretrievably happening the only theory of existence that fits with continuing awareness is Cartesian dualism.
What if our kind of consciousness is not the only type in existence? Maybe there are other types of consciousness in systems that we don't understand. I am interested in the massive gulf of possibilities that lie between the 19th century materialist logical positivism (a weak sketch of reality at best) and even less credible theism - it is that very gulf that was first explored in quantum mechanics and will surely be explored more by scientists in the future.
Greta wrote:

"Ideally we should not need to be in mortal peril to learn the lessons of those who have come closer to the edge than we have". This is potentially a title of a huge discussion about how we learn. Can we learn vicariously? Without emotional involvement?
Greta wrote along the lines of "What is consciousness anyway?" Me, I'm contented to define it as a general name for several conscious states all of which are the physical aspects( perspectives) of subjective states of awareness. I cannot say , not being a neuroscientist, which biochemical substances link with which neurons to yield the subjective state of NDE or peak experiences however I thoroughly believe there is always the link.

Regarding the effects of culture (e.g. separated monozygotic twins)upon consciousness, I guess we have to consider , as Greta seems to be considering, if and how beliefs affect states of consciousness. This must occur, I think, as we aren't unfeeling machines. For instance many of us know from our experiences that habits of thought make us happier of unhappier. This is how cognitive behavioural therapy works , and how certain religious beliefs often affect people. May we call it a 'top-down' effect? The contexts in which Greta discusses 'consciousness' e.g. the twins and their different cultures of belief and practice, indicates to me that what Greta means by 'consciousness' is other than what I mean by it. I am aware of Greta's application of the term but I don't think that this usage of 'consciousness' is helpful in discussions about NDEs. this is because I doubt very much that belief in the validity of NDEs will induce the experiences. I have said and ay again that I believe in the validity of the subjective experience and that therefore there will be a physiological correlate. However I have no hope that this conviction will enable me to experience an NDE or peak experience.

I could be wrong. There is evidence that at least one human culture includes the belief and practice of lucid dreaming which youngsters are trained to do.

I cannot understand Greta's interest in Planck level knowledge in connection with human consciousness. I would have thought that Planck thingumybobs combine in systems which make realities as we know them, one of which is human states of consciousness.
Greta says that there may be states of consciousness which we are unaware of. This has to be true. However I would have thought that neuroscience plus naturalistic neutral monism is already sufficiently up to speed to explain NDEs and peak experiences.
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Greta
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Re: Death

Post by Greta »

Belinda wrote:Greta wrote:

"Ideally we should not need to be in mortal peril to learn the lessons of those who have come closer to the edge than we have". This is potentially a title of a huge discussion about how we learn. Can we learn vicariously? Without emotional involvement?
It depends. According to tests, for instance, my favoured learning style is kinaesthetic, so I normally would not pick up much from descriptions of others' experiences - unless I find them relatable. That's where the peak experiences came in.
Belinda wrote:Regarding the effects of culture (e.g. separated monozygotic twins)upon consciousness, I guess we have to consider , as Greta seems to be considering, if and how beliefs affect states of consciousness. This must occur, I think, as we aren't unfeeling machines. For instance many of us know from our experiences that habits of thought make us happier of unhappier. This is how cognitive behavioural therapy works , and how certain religious beliefs often affect people. May we call it a 'top-down' effect? The contexts in which Greta discusses 'consciousness' e.g. the twins and their different cultures of belief and practice, indicates to me that what Greta means by 'consciousness' is other than what I mean by it.
How important are beliefs? Maybe not much. What kind of beliefs might a child raised by wolves hold (aside from "watch out for the big ones that look like you - they're dangerous")?
Belinda wrote:I doubt very much that belief in the validity of NDEs will induce the experiences.
I do too. Many very practical thinkers have been astonished by their NDEs and many who hold beliefs have probably experienced blankness before reanimation. My understanding is it's more prevalent with heart patients, perhaps due to the suddenness of the event, giving the brain the opportunity to explore death.

Would directing an NDE would be possible? When dying, I imagine that terminal patients are more focused on survival or relief from pain. If ever these is a time to accept a lack of control, that is it.
Belinda wrote:I cannot understand Greta's interest in Planck level knowledge in connection with human consciousness.
There are things we don't understand about reality. One is consciousness and another is the Planck scale. There may be a connection as each concern sublime subtlety.
Belinda wrote:Greta says that there may be states of consciousness which we are unaware of. This has to be true. However I would have thought that neuroscience plus naturalistic neutral monism is already sufficiently up to speed to explain NDEs and peak experiences.
Would neuroscientists in a culture 10,000 years more advanced than ours figure that our knowledge is up to speed? Neuroscience is decades old, in historical context, a newborn discipline.

Strange experiences are only possible hints that there may be more to reality than we assume. They are not proof of anything but themselves. I remain open to all manner of possibilities because at this point we humans still understand almost nothing about reality. I expect that great feats of science are probably thousands or millions of years away, rendering our activities primitive. Metaphorically, humanity has learned to yowl over the banging together of rocks and sticks but they claim this to be the ultimate music, never to be bettered.
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Re: Death

Post by Belinda »

But Greta, we can only work with the array of beliefs and technology that is available right now.
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Lacewing
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Re: Death

Post by Lacewing »

Belinda wrote:we can only work with the array of beliefs and technology that is available right now.
Yet how do we ever stretch or move beyond anything unless there are elements being experienced/discovered beyond where we "generally" are at any given time? Isn't it such experiences/discoveries that cause us to question and expand where we thought our boundaries were? The edges of discovery are constantly in motion... like water spreading across territory.

What might we see/realize if we didn't identify or entrench ourselves so much with what is supposedly "known" at any given time? What if we explored to the same degree that we build? One must STOP in order to build. We build monuments upon monuments, and then do everything to maintain and protect them. Meanwhile, there are surely vast levels of flowing currents of life/energy/manifestation in natural continuous motion, regardless of the degree to which humans are aware. But I think we COULD be more aware if it were more acceptable and encouraged to be. :D

Also, I wonder... just as the visible Universe is expanding, might there be unseen dimensions continually expanding -- all of which we are a part of? Why would humans be static and separate from that?
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Hobbes' Choice
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Re: Death

Post by Hobbes' Choice »

Lacewing wrote:
Hobbes' Choice wrote:
Lacewing wrote: How do you know that the physical brain is the only source of transmission/exchange?
It is evident.

You can remove the personality with a blunt spoon.
I'm not talking about the personality or identity or a soul or a body. Why do you think that's all that we consist of? No, there is nothing ultimately EVIDENT to everyone... so you can quit saying that unless you specify that it's all that is evident to you. :)
What ARE you talking about?
I'm nothing without the sum of my memories. Without my personality I am dead!
Beyond those things I am nothing but a rotting corpse.
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Hobbes' Choice
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Re: Death

Post by Hobbes' Choice »

Greta wrote:
Lacewing wrote:I'm not talking about the personality or identity or a soul or a body.
People have been conditioned to believe that anything that does not conform to 19th century logical positivism must necessarily be related to religious concepts. We always forget that our experts will be are utterly naive compared with the experts of even just a century's time. I wonder what they will find out that overturns our current models?
That is a childish attack.
Where's the meat of your point?
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Lacewing
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Re: Death

Post by Lacewing »

Hobbes' Choice wrote: What ARE you talking about?
I'm nothing without the sum of my memories. Without my personality I am dead!
Beyond those things I am nothing but a rotting corpse.
Apparently you see yourself (or that which animates you) as ONLY being a physical body. I do not see the universe as a bunch of separate, disconnected things. My experiences have shown me levels of "being" that are broader than the limitations of the physical world we know. This indicated for me that there is something (a dynamic or element) flowing through all, manifesting with innate awareness of the whole, in ways that we don't (nor need to) typically fathom... but which MAKE PERFECT SENSE for a completely connected and efficient system which is not modeled after our convoluted and limited human structure. We really are in a bubble. Our perceived limitations are not an accurate reflection of all that is. It could be said that the human body is nothing more than a shell for that which continues. Based on my experiences, I do not assign individual nor separate identity to that.
Dubious
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Re: Death

Post by Dubious »

Lacewing wrote:It could be said that the human body is nothing more than a shell for that which continues. Based on my experiences, I do not assign individual nor separate identity to that.
Based on those experiences, what would be the nature of that which continues beyond the body. Would that subsequent experience still contain the identity of the person who died?
Belinda
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Re: Death

Post by Belinda »

Lacewing wrote:
Yet how do we ever stretch or move beyond anything unless there are elements being experienced/discovered beyond where we "generally" are at any given time? Isn't it such experiences/discoveries that cause us to question and expand where we thought our boundaries were? The edges of discovery are constantly in motion... like water spreading across territory.
This was a response to my "we can only work with the beliefs and technology we have right now".

Indeed and many if not most people are trying to extend those boundaries . If I change my wording to "we can only work with what is possible" would you agree? For instance the Pope who had been mentioned as a case in point can with the best will in the world can only work with what is possible . Thus the Pope is saddled with a lot of responsibility which he has to live up to by doing what he can do within the limits of the RC Church, a conservative institution which has been averse to modern changes in beliefs and technology.

Dubious quoted Lacewing:
Lacewing wrote:
It could be said that the human body is nothing more than a shell for that which continues. Based on my experiences, I do not assign individual nor separate identity to that.
In fact is often has been said, notably by Descartes, that the mind is a separate substance from the body which is absolutely another substance. I am glad that Lacewing doesn't hold with Cartesian dualism.
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