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Afterlife hypothesis

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Magnus
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PostPosted: Sat 06 Oct, 2007  Reply with quote

I removed some posts that didn't add anything to this discussion,
I hope you can continue the discussion now in the same manner as before those posts ^^



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PostPosted: Sun 07 Oct, 2007  Reply with quote

I was going to make a point, but Antonio (who recently went back to the original nickname, it seems :D ooh I hadn't noticed!) already made it. yes

But here's an example of what he says. So you have a partner, right? A girlfriend or a boyfriend or whatever. And you love them, dearly. You love being with them, talking to them, you'd let go of a bunch of things for them and not in the "make sacrifices" sense of letting go, as you'd be glad to do so. But still, they don't seem to realize you love them. They keep asking: do you love me?, but is this for real?, you want to see other people, don't you?, do you think I'm ugly? My question is: how do you feel? Well, whenever this happens to me, here's how I feel: like an idiot. So I love a person, deeply, and try to show it to them, not as an effort, but because I love them so much I've come to live my life so as to show my love. And still they can't see it? So all the things I doing, all I feel when I'm with that person— is it all worthless? How can they trash it so much?

Now lets say there is a god, and the god is somewhat like that "god of love" image you people have of your own gods, our creator and father or mother and whatnot. Right? Now, they probably feel just like the "you in a relationship" does: in dear love, an impulse to give without expecting anything in return; they made a whole world without a single evidence of their existence, performed the miracle of life and watches us without ever requiring anything from anyone, without ever demanding us to worship them in return for all they did to us. And we, in turn, say "we believe you," and they smile because we acknowledge all they did to us. But we, in turn, say further: "but it would be like to be sure to know you're there—you know, to be sure we're not wasting our time with a figment of our imaginations, hehe" and start looking for evidence of their existence. Start to see a correlation between the god and the "you in a (tough) relationship" scenario? How do you think your god feels—if they indeed exist—when you say "alright, I'll worship you, but only because I think this story I read on the internet is compelling enough an evidence that I'm not, you know, wasting my time." Do we need evidence of their love? Otherwise we'd be doing something better with our lives? Don't you think your god would feel a bit like an idiot when the best reason you have to believe them is reason itself?

That is the mystery of faith.

From your point of view, there's more to it; I'm not going to get into that right now, as I frankly can't be bothered, but belief should be, as far as I'm concerned, a one–to–one relation. One should never believe in god or whatever thing of sorts because of something someone else said; faith should come from you and you alone, and be directed not at other people—politicians, monks, scientists, the pope—but at god, and themselves alone.

So this is a note to all religious people in this topic (mainly the Christians): if you are going to join this discussion in order to force your views into others, and especially if you're going to try to do so by means of rational argumentation, than this topic is worthless from where I stand. If you are to join the discussion, then don't do it by means of borderline trollish "that's a good idea, but if you were enlightened as I am, you'd see that's not the truth," especially if that truth you're so sure about is based on someone else's account of a near death experience. If you are to join this discussion, than please: join the discussion.


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PostPosted: Sun 07 Oct, 2007  Reply with quote

^^ enlightend as you are? Heh heh, if you think your enlightend than you have, no idea, there is much more to the nature of reality, the entropic level of which this anything exist is beyond such simple comprehension, there is no value of such action. Wiht the oppisite view the entropy it would take for existance would be virutally zero.

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PostPosted: Sun 07 Oct, 2007  Reply with quote

If you believe in science, and not faith then you should not believe in afterlife, reincarnation, or any other idea of the sort. But if you are of faith then you should say anything you like.
People of science: if you you believe in a magical wonderland, where everything is how you want it, your in control, then don't make fun or patronize the people here who believe in god. its just hypocritical hmm just saying



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Bruno
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PostPosted: Mon 08 Oct, 2007  Reply with quote

Reaper, you didn't understand me; and to be honest, I didn't understand half of what you said. lach1 I'm not saying I'm enlightened. Hell, in terms of spiritual beliefs I'm more of a scared person than an enlightened one: I'm an atheist. What I'm saying is: compelling evidence in the existence of {god, heaven, souls, afterlife} is irrelevant to both philosophical and scientific discussions (because they are evidence, not proof; and also because they are usually secondhand accounts, not simple, controlled–environment experiment results), and should be, from a pragmatic point of view, irrelevant on your formation of an epistemological or metaphysical point of view. In simple terms: saying "god exists, it's proved" is illogic and, most of the time, rude to the people you're talking to and, most surprisingly, to god themselves, should they exist.

Sultan, I don't think there's such a clear trade–off between science and religion, to the point of splitting people between "people of science" and "people of faith." Faith and science themselves should not be mixed with each other in the sense that one can't use a scientific argument to prove a transcendental point, nor use a transcendental argument to prove a scientific point; but people can pretty much choose if they'll be scientific or religious (or both, as long as they can, without mixing the streams of reasoning, find arguments in both modes that reach the same conclusion) for every single topic they come across.

Plus, science itself, after all, can only create knowledge about that which can be verified. Since the existence of {god, heaven, afterlife} can't be verified—that is, since it can't be proved true or false—science is useless in this topic. So even if a complete "man of science" decided to join this discussion, they would have to do what everyone else is doing and debate in terms that are strictly philosophical or religious. When one says "there's no such thing as a heaven because there's no proof of its existence," what that person is doing is affirming their religion. They are, by no means, being scientific in what they say. When someone says "there is such a thing as a heaven, because the people who've had NDEs and came back managed to describe it," they are also being religious. In both cases, since the epistemology of thesis and justification are different, the arguments are fallacious. In simple terms: if you make an assertion based in certain views (say, religious), and then justify based in other views (scientific, for instance, or empiric), your argument is always either contradictory or invalid.

So what I'm saying about this discussion is the following: we're talking about a metaphysical topic here, so science is useless in this topic. Using science here will, at best, bring far–fetched looking conclusions. Most of the time, it'll look silly and contradictory. So keep science off the discussion, and please don't try to force metaphysical world views into other users—it's not polite, not logically rigorous, and it's against the forum's guidelines.


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PostPosted: Mon 08 Oct, 2007  Reply with quote

ehh, im not even ganna waste my time. But I will say one thing. Evidence is there not from NDEs can you not see? Science does apply here

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PostPosted: Mon 08 Oct, 2007  Reply with quote

*Reaper* wrote:
Evidence is there not from NDEs can you not see? Science does apply here

How?


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DayLight
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PostPosted: Mon 08 Oct, 2007  Reply with quote

Not even going to waste your time? Let me tell you, Bruno is one of the most intelligent, interesting human beings I've ever met, and if anyone is wasting his time, I sure don't think it's you.(edited for grammatical reasons, original in bruno's quote)

...

Sorry. Just got a bit attached.

The statement made saying that those who believe in science cannot believe in things like an afterlife or celestial deities is absurd. What parts of science do not mesh with God? Evolution? You mean that process, that holy and sacred cycle that was set into place by the lord God, Brahman, who is love?!? Just because it cannot be proven does not mean that a man of science should disregard it. In what other ways do you see science opposed to religion? 'Cause I've always seen them as an inter meshing free flowing fractal, so I'm not sure how everyone else sees the whole thing.
And as for the notion of being a character in a person's afterlife, my mind has gone through too much, I am too complex, I have seen to much complexity in this here head of mine to ever entertain that something like that is true.




Last edited by DayLight on Tue 09 Oct, 2007; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Mon 08 Oct, 2007  Reply with quote

Dan wrote:
Not even going to waste your time? Let me tell you, Bruno is one of the most intelligent, interesting human beings I've ever met, and if anyone is wasting his time, I sure don't think it's him.

...

Sorry. Just got a bit attached.

*Bruno just laughed out so loud grandma came to see if he was alright lach2

*Bruno hugs Dan, thanks for that colgate

Dan wrote:
And as for the notion of being a character in a person's afterlife, my mind has gone through too much, I am too complex, I have seen to much complexity in this here head of mine to ever entertain that something like that is true.

But it might be that you are indeed a representation within something higher; I don't think it's all that absurd that we're but an implicit movement in something beyond... Bringing the discussion out of its original scope, but so as to try and make it valid, I'd argue it's not at all impossible that, like a fractal's arm, we're a rich, full of complexity thing which is at the same time part of something else, far more complex and beyond understanding than we alone are.


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PostPosted: Mon 08 Oct, 2007  Reply with quote

Oh, of course! I just meant I am not part of someone else's mind. Something more beautiful and complex, something less understandable, I surely am a part of.

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PostPosted: Mon 08 Oct, 2007  Reply with quote

Dan wrote:
Oh, of course! I just meant I am not part of someone else's mind. Something more beautiful and complex, something less understandable, I surely am a part of.

Good. yes Now, see, you agree with the abstract one, so lets dive into it.

Agree with me that the thing–beyond we're talking about, that which encompasses us, might be represented in many ways? After all, that's what religion comes down to: it might not necessarily be true as in "exact," "precise," but when you have a faith in something, you expect it at least represents the truth; like a map represents a terrain too large for your absolute memorization, a religion represents a harmony (or disharmony) too massive for your comprehension and understanding. Yes?

In that sense, we could add to the fractal model in that we can argue: if I have a personality, and I am a part of it, and it's more complex than I am, then at least in a sense it has to have a personality. Now bring in the hypothesis of higher designs or karma or fate into the fractal representation of the beyond, and we have it that this personality beyond, that which encompasses us, has some control over us, not exactly something you can speak of as "control" without being improper, but hell, this is representation, ain't it?

So there you have it. A higher personality of whom you are but a movement towards some higher, ineffable harmony; or put in a different set of words with almost equivalent value: someone to whom you are the equivalent of a dream. And there you go: representation! A religion, based in a bunch of logical, solid metaphysical conjectures, represented by the image of a "deity" or a "demon," or perhaps an "angel" or—why not?—a "person" dreaming your life.

The implications of it? Well. Start with: you're not completely free, after all. Being part of a dream, the closest you get to freedom is lucidity (the image of lucidity here a representation of nirvana, perhaps?), but you can never access the real, for the real is only available for that who is dreaming of you, and the closest you get to the real, the closest you get to waking your god up and thus vanishing from their mind. There's another implication: the world is not rational, and you can get from it by using all your rhetoric in order to persuade your deity to favour you. What else? Ah well, there's the nice one which I always like: the meaning of your life is out of yourself, beyond yourself, and is potentially insane. That is, you're better off living as if your life had no meaning, or find yourself meaning into yourself because the one beyond you just "isn't enough." That clashes with your lack of freedom, because in a sense it gives you freedom. Perhaps not Liberty to see the real and do what you could, as there's a mind dreaming of you constantly, but still freedom to give yourself sense as you please and hunt down your motivations and treasures on your own—as far as I'm concerned, that's all freedom one could wish for in our worldly lives, right?

These are some of the implications of our representation of the real as a person dreaming of you. If you agree with them, or fancy them, you might consider adopting that representation for your religion, invest some faith into it and see how you profit from it. If you don't, then well, go build another metaphysical model and derive a representation for it, I myself am done with abstract philosophy for today. tounge1 wink5


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PostPosted: Tue 09 Oct, 2007  Reply with quote

Brunie wrote:
Now lets say there is a god, and the god is somewhat like that "god of love" image you people have of your own gods, our creator and father or mother and whatnot. Right? Now, they probably feel just like the "you in a relationship" does: in dear love, an impulse to give without expecting anything in return; they made a whole world without a single evidence of their existence, performed the miracle of life and watches us without ever requiring anything from anyone, without ever demanding us to worship them in return for all they did to us. And we, in turn, say "we believe you," and they smile because we acknowledge all they did to us. But we, in turn, say further: "but it would be like to be sure to know you're there—you know, to be sure we're not wasting our time with a figment of our imaginations, hehe" and start looking for evidence of their existence. Start to see a correlation between the god and the "you in a (tough) relationship" scenario? How do you think your god feels—if they indeed exist—when you say "alright, I'll worship you, but only because I think this story I read on the internet is compelling enough an evidence that I'm not, you know, wasting my time." Do we need evidence of their love? Otherwise we'd be doing something better with our lives? Don't you think your god would feel a bit like an idiot when the best reason you have to believe them is reason itself?

That is the mystery of faith.

I was thinking about this logic when I was up in the apple orchards over the weekend. It's a very nice place to think and just generally feel free and happy. Now the problem I have with this logic here Bruno, is that you are assuming that God has the same level of human traits as man. God did create man in His image, Him being perfect though, we were made imperfect. In a way, we could all be considered tiny gods, through the idea that we were created in God's image. However, it is only an image. Like a painter painting the autumn leaves blowing in the wind, it is only a recreation of the original, not a perfect copy. Because we're created in his image, though, in theory we can assume that God would have similar traits as us, only amplified. He is God after all, all powerful, a benevolent superpower. Sort of like the United States of Heaven. Anyways, if God does have these same traits as man, but are boosted because he is God after all, his love would be complete, his patience incredible, his tolerance for pain perfect. It would not be the same as a difficult relationship. God would be compassionate with man, because he would understand why we have our doubts as to whether he exists or not. Man is imperfect after all, he would understand. Imagine Buddha X 100 in terms of compassion, hahaha. He is perfect after all.

Bruno, I just think you're thinking too small ball. God is all powerful. He is perfect. He would not feel bad for you doubting His existence; he has the ultimate Cognitive Behavioral Theory handbook in His library, and so He would never doubt you having good reason to doubt Him in the first place.

Whew, that was difficult getting my thoughts on the page, hehe. Glad I did though. I can't decide whether I should lift weights or run...Hmmm, if only I were perfect, I would know which to do, hehehe tounge1

I love these type of discussions :D


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Bruno
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PostPosted: Wed 10 Oct, 2007  Reply with quote

Jon... Why does "being perfect" equal "being aseptic"? As far as I'm concerned, God could be both perfect and have a daft sense of humour. Or perfect and capable of feeling insulted. Or perfect and sadistic. Hell, he could be anything—after all, he's perfect! Unless your God is a motionless bubble or something.

Really, I don't see what stream of logics makes it so that you can be sure his personality (or lack thereof) must be like this or that. And not knowing how he thinks and feels, if I were to worship him, myself I'd not question his existence or treat him like I treat my investments. But that's just me.


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PostPosted: Wed 10 Oct, 2007  Reply with quote

I'm not going to dive into my religious beliefs(I'm not completely sure what they are either), but I would like to add one thing.

Lets pretend that I'm god(a stretch to be sure, but humor me), I would personally be more impressed with the creations that questioned my existence than the ones that blindly worshiped(I'm not pointing fingers here) my existence. As I see it, the individuals that would attempt to appease me by worship and whatnot have no actual evidence that I want to be worshiped at all.

So why do people congregate in structures dedicated to deities? Because we feel as humans that the greatest praise we can show to this god is to treat them like some kind of king. Worship him, take time out of our lives to consider ways to better serve him, make sacrifices. A human king would find these behaviors appealing, it shows that his subjects will put their feelings aside to appease him, that they respect his position and fear his wrath. They sacrifice their time and possessions in hopes that this form of suffering will show the king that they are undeserving of additional punishment at his hands. They hope that by their behaviors and absolute loyalty that they will find their way into his good graces, his kingdom as it were.

I say unto you, does god really want to be treated in the same manner as a human king? Are his wants and needs so human in nature that a mere mortal is capable of understanding them and fulfilling them? I say no.

Coming back to the notion that I'm god, I would be more interested in the human that said "hey god, I don't think you are there." This shows me that the human is displaying traits and ways of thinking that are singular in nature compared to the masses of blind religious fanatics, who think they know what is best for god. I would smile upon this individual, he is one apart from the herd, not worthy of slaughter. He would be truly capable of understanding my ways and how I run the show.

I just thought I would throw my opinion in there. ^^


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PostPosted: Fri 12 Oct, 2007  Reply with quote

Don't get me wrong, Ryan, I completely agree with you. I stand corrected about what I said. smile What I mean is: I see no sense in worshipping a deity because "there's scientifical evidence" and therefore "we better worship them because otherwise we go to hell." I don't see that kind of utilitarism turning out to be fruitful in any sense.

As for looking for evidence of god's existence... Hey, I don't know about you, but myself I see no point in that. What's one looking forward to by doing so? Getting knowledge at the expense of faith? I don't know. I don't think there's any sense in trying to approach the sacred scientifically. (Kind of hypocritical of mine to say that, I should point out, as myself I get in touch with the sacred, I experience transcendence through literature, and here I am, a student of critique, the science of literature.) I don't know.

I think we can conjecture and even infer about deity to a certain extent... After all, one makes choices (you choose, for instance, for god rather than no god; and then you go one step further and choose a god of love, as opposed to a god of war or an undetermined god etc.), and after you've made a couple of choices, you can reach a couple of conclusions. So to speak, you're "molding god" which by no means is to insult them, should they exist, but rather signifies you're expressing your representation of truth, your beliefs. So sure, we can reach conclusions about god to a certain extent. But to try and understand them, to know them rationally, scientifically?

No... I don't feel it's right to try and know god, rationally. In my opinion, proving god's existence would be killing god altogether.

I might be under the influence of Nietzschean thinking here. He was the one to expose, logically, how what we have done in our strive to reach truth was to actually limit the world and ourselves. It was Nietzsche who said: philosophy killed itself, science killed itself, and humankind killed god.

This is in what sense I say that, whenever a person comes to me and says "but you should convert, don't you see the evidence all around of His existence?," I'll feel proud of myself and my godless literature before I lean any inch closer towards choosing god.


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